This podcast is for seekers looking to improve themselves and the world.
Nov. 17, 2022

#80 - From the Darkness of PTSD to Redemption with David Hollenbach

#80 - From the Darkness of PTSD to Redemption with David Hollenbach

Retired Battalion Chief David Hollenbach is the author of “Fireproof: Your Grand Strategy for Transforming Failure into Fuel for Your Future.” He is an international best-selling author, motivational speaker, coach, and mentor. He owns and operates David Hollenbach Consulting, LLC, and hosts the popular podcast “From Embers to Excellence.”

During his 23-year career in the fire service, he served as a
•Apparatus Driver/Pump-Operator/Engineer
•Company Officer/Lieutenant
•Battalion Chief in Operations
•Chief of Special Operations
•Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) peer counselor
•Public Safety Rescue Diver
•Coordinator and developer of his department’s first leadership development program
He is a veteran of the United States Navy with a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Barry University. A major focus of research was how strong, positive leadership can influence the culture of a large organization.

While studying at Barry University he published "The Firefighter's Creed" and “Women in the Fire Service: A Diverse Culture Leads to a Successful Culture,” an article highlighting the importance of gender diversity within the fire service..
He has spent years as an instructor, coach and mentor helping others define and realize success.

Q. What inspired you to write “Fireproof: Your Grand Strategy for Transforming Failure into Fuel for Your Future?”
A. The death of my brother inspired me to write the book. My leadership failures, both personal and professional, inspired me to finish it.

Q. What do you hope is the biggest takeaway from the book?
A. That an individual’s core essence determines the kind of leader they will be. Once they discover the truth inside of themselves—flaws and all—readers can challenge their limitations and let go of self-defeating behaviors. Within FIREPROOF, the question, “How can I create a Grand Strategy for my life?” is answered and leads the reader to develop their own unique Grand Strategy, to create a life that helps others and leaves a stellar legacy.

Personal development topics like self-leadership, self-awareness, communication, healthy relationships and self-care run throughout FIREPROOF, as I emphasize the importance of uncovering one’s core values and finding their big WHY. I provide an analysis tool for challenging situations to help the reader discern which parts they can control, what they can influence, and which things they can neither control or influence. I also provide tools for releasing stress and working through feelings of overwhelm, as well as outline critical daily habits and mindset matters that are essential for success.

Q. What makes you an expert in this field/a unique voice to speak on this topic?
A. I based the book on my personal experience and research. I spent 23 years in the fire service. I moved up through the ranks, retiring as a battalion chief responsible for 6 fire stations.  I have effectively led people from all backgrounds in high stress environments. I developed a leadership training program for my fire department and taught leadership for 10 of the 23 years I served. I suffer from PTSD and as part of my healing process I research and study philosophy.

In FIREPROOF: Your Grand Strategy for Transforming Failure into Fuel for Your Future, Mr. Hollenbach takes the idea behind Yale University’s Grand Strategy Program designed for political leaders and heads of large corporations and applies those principles to the individual. His book answers the question: How can I create a Grand Strategy for my life? He then leads the reader through steps to develop their own unique Grand Strategy to create a stellar legacy.

Find out more about Dave at

Support the show