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Unveiling The 6th Pillar Podcast: A Journey into Resilience, Leadership, and Wellness with Chief Neil Gang

Dive into the heart of The 6th Pillar Podcast, where Chief Neil Gang explores resilience, leadership, and wellness. In our commitment to accessibility, we're excited to share the transcript of our inaugural episode as an article, ensuring everyone can engage with our empowering mission.

Techne Innovations Host and former first responder, Missy Morris: Hello everyone. I'm Missy Morris, Podcast Director at Techne Innovations. I'm excited to welcome you to the 6th Pillar Podcast, hosted by Pinole, California Police Chief, Neil Gang. The 6th Pillar Podcast is your beacon for wellness and leadership insights for the first responder. It is proudly produced by Techne Innovations.

Chief Neil Gang: Yeah. So, my name is Chief Neil Gang, and I've been a police chief out in northern California for the past 10 years. I've been in the policing profession now for 35 years, and it's just been a passion of mine. I'm still excited about this opportunity. I'm still excited about what we are doing in law enforcement.

I'm motivated by a biblical Scripture, which I shared Isaiah 6:8. Lord send me. When there were challenges... when it came to this profession in the last, you know, three years, 2020 was the big kind of implosion of all these different challenges. You know, we started recognizing that police suicide was a major issue.

There was nobody talking about these things. So, I said, you know what? If anybody is going to do this, then I have to do this, right? I always bring back (for me): it's about if not me, then who? And if it's not me who is going to step up and talk about this, then who's going to do that? And if I can never come up with a name to fill into that spot - if not me, then who - then it has to be me.

So that's why I'm so motivated to step forward and to try and change outcomes. And then of course, bring along authentic leaders and partners to help me deliver this message. I'm really motivated by a suicide by a buddy of mine named Asher Rosinsky. That's kind of where this all stemmed from. Asher died back in the 1990s by suicide, and that's kind of motivated me and that sat inside me and with resonated me for such a long time.

I always said, if I ever have an opportunity to change outcomes, I'll do that. And when I became a police chief, that was the time. I prayed to God about it. And the Lord placed something on my heart, and I developed something called the Asher model.

And that Asher Model was really designed so organizations could have a Seven Point Approach to creating a culture of organizational wellness. And that's kind of where my foundations come from. That's where my passion is. And I think now, after spending five years talking about organizational wellness, we really need to start infusing leadership into that conversation because the bottom line is there are some great organizational wellness programs out there that are lacking leadership and organization, and the entire wellness program falls apart.

And then conversely, you have some great leadership with no organizational wellness. So those things fall apart. So, I think it's time we infuse those two conversations of organizational wellness and leadership, and we bring unadulterated, unfiltered conversations to help people change outcomes.

Missy: Perfect. Is there anybody that who's been an inspiration to you that will hopefully come to your podcast in the future?

Chief Gang: I've only had maybe a less than a handful of people that I actually consider good leaders.

And I have been much more motivated by poor leadership in our profession. And that's what we're trying to change. We want to bring good leaders to our profession. I think that going around the country, everybody has shared that. They've had such poor leadership and they learned from that, but I do have some inspirational leaders that have influenced my career... a police chief that I worked for. I'm hoping that they will be future guests on our podcast, but certainly I know through the networking and the traveling of wellness and leadership that there are some great leaders out there trying to do good things, and we just want to provide them a platform to be able to get their message out... and so they can also help and impact this profession.

I think it's good, if I can just to talk about the name: the 6th Pillar. In 2015, President Obama at the time put a task force together to strengthen community policing and trust among law enforcement officers. One of the pillars (the 6th Pillar) was classified as Officer Wellness and Safety, and I'll read it to you:

"The wellness and safety of our law enforcement officers is critical, not only for the officers, their colleagues and their agencies, but also to public safety. Pillar Six emphasizes the support and proper implementation of officer wellness and safety as a multi partner effort."

That's why the 6th Pillar resonates with me. That's why we are calling this the Sixth Pillar Podcast... because we are going to collaborate with leadership throughout the nation to help bring change and outcomes to our profession.

Missy: What's your vision for the 6th Pillar Podcast?

Chief Gang: The 6th Pillar podcast has been a passion of mine. I think the vision is to provide the audience with unfiltered, authentic leadership discussions on organizational wellness and leadership, absent of BS that we all hear every day and just provide authentic leadership conversations where hopefully somebody in the audience could have a tangible takeaway and we could change outcomes. Because the bottom line, that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to provide a platform for discussions so people can take some takeaway to change some of the outcomes we're seeing in our profession.

Missy: Why now? Why at this point in time? What has inspired you to do it?

Chief Gang: Yeah. So, this has been a passion project for mine for many, many years, and the challenge has been finding a talented team that can push us to the finish line. And finally, with Techne Innovations, I'm able to find that talented team who has the same passion I do... who's willing to support this mission and bring this quality product to our audience.

So really, it's about that and finding the dichotomy of what we're seeing in our profession, where we're seeing police suicides on the rise and we're seeing a lack of leadership and just... there's a lot of challenging times in the law enforcement profession and to also include all first responders.

So, I think now is the time to provide authentic leadership to people who are the future leaders and the current leaders of our profession.

Missy: Okay, with that in mind then, what is it you hope to include for your audience with this podcast that they won't expect? Or they'll be excited to come back and listen for more?

Chief Gang: Yeah, I think the one thing that I'm going to include is... we're gonna have a little bit of a faith-based approach. Every podcast that we're going to bring forward, I'm going to bring a weekly scripture that's going to tie into the conversations we're going to have. For example, this one, you know, people ask me why? Why me? And I think that one person could change the world, right? Gandhi, Martin Luther King. They changed the entire world. So why can't one person go back and change the culture of their organization? So for me, Isaiah 6:8 was always important. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send and who will go for us?

And I said, "here I am, send me." So, when this has come to fruition about police suicide and leadership, stepping up, I'm saying, "Send me! I want to be that one to start leading these conversations and this mission."

Missy: Will this be strictly Christian faith? Or will this be a non-denominational type of podcast?

Chief Gang: No, it'll be non-denominational, but I think for me, if I'm going to be authentic, I have to bring my faith foundation to it. So again, if it's a non-denominational approach, I think the biblical verse is really just to help people that may be starting on their spiritual journey to give them something to kind of think about and kind of chew on as we talk about these leadership concepts. And again, if it's not something that's for them, we're still going to have authentic leadership conversations that won't be faith-based.

Final thoughts:

To the brothers and sisters on the job: if no one's told you, I'm telling you today that you're needed, wanted, and appreciated. And remember speaking up and raising your hand when you need help or in struggling --that's real courage, and at the 6th Pillar Podcast, we see you and for the future leaders out there and the leaders that are currently working, there's a book by Kouzes and Posner called The Leadership Challenge.

They've been doing leadership over three decades now, and they've been studying this topic, and they said the top four qualities that remain the same: honesty, competency, inspirational, and forward thinking. That's honesty, competency, inspirational, and forward thinking. I encourage you to take that challenge, an introspective look to see where you're at and see what people that are following you would say you need to work on.

And I'll leave you with this: Be the leader that you would be inspired to follow.

Until next time, God bless.

Missy: We extend our gratitude to Chief Neil Gang for his leading us through this exploration of wellness and leadership for our extra ordinary first responders. This is Missy Morris signing off on behalf of Techne Innovations. Be safe, and we look forward to having you with us again on the sixth pillar, monthly podcast.

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Embark on a transformative journey with The 6th Pillar Podcast, where Chief Neil Gang delves into crucial discussions on resilience, leadership, and wellness. Join us as we unveil the inaugural episode, sharing our mission to empower and inspire through meaningful conversations


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