You’ve done the unthinkable and are wondering if there’s any saving your career; there might be if you do these three things.
Of the countless people who take on various leadership roles in the fire service, how many encounter resistance to their attempts to lead or even hostility, jealousy or unfriendliness. How many find the transition to company officer challenging to say the least? If, being a leader turns out to be a bad experience it is almost always because of the officers own ineffectiveness. The purpose of this presentation is to show you what special skills and methods you must learn to use today’s “model” of effective company officer leadership.
A 29-year public safety veteran, Steven Orusa is the Fire Chief for the Fishers Fire Department. He has a bachelor of science in Law Enforcement Administration and his graduate work is in Human Resource Management. He is a published author and is a frequently invited speaker on public safety leadership and development techniques. He has provided analysis on public safety response for USA Today, Fire Chief Magazine, Fire Engineering Magazine, and has also appeared on BBC, MSNBC, Fox News and CNN to provide expert analysis on disaster response.
Check out California State Fire Marshal Tanya Hoover. I had the great opportunity to meet and speak with Fire Marshal Hoover at an IAFF Instructor Development Conference. She was personable and dynamic. This clip is from the Fire Alumni Workshop Series.
The Fire Alumni Events continue to motivate and educate future firefighters in the right direction. These events will prepare you, the candidate, to become a firefighter anywhere in the nation. for Fire Departments across the nation.
Mentor, Menace or Mediocre…Make Up Your Mind!
by John Alston
Let’s look at the three: Mentor, Menace or Mediocre.
|Graphic by Malcolm Alston|
Have you adopted the character traits, persona and practices of a mentor. Someone who is approachable, learned, intuitive, genuinely concerned for the positive growth and development of others? Are you a good listener? Do you constantly strive to stay at the top of your game (by study, taking courses and by information sharing); so that you are a valuable and knowledgeable resource to subordinates, colleagues, your superiors, and the public? Do you help, aid, and assist all members of your service, where-ever you encounter them? Do you seek genuine opportunities to encourage others? Do you attempt to turn negatives into positives?
Being a mentor is a selfless act. It is a continuous process. It is a transparent process. It takes a strong commitment and a lot of work!
Have you adopted the attitude, character traits and/or persona of a mediocre officer. Status Quo is sufficient. It’s the Guy or Gal at the top who caused these problems and only they can fix them. “Morale is low!” “You really can’t change things, anyway.” “Why Try?” “There’s no benefit or penalty for attempting to improve things.” “People are people.” “This new generation of Firefighters are the worst ever!” “You just have to go along to get along (and get ahead).” “Things are just fine the way they are.” “I set my expectations low and that way I am rarely disappointed.” “Same Circus, Different Clowns!” “I’m just here for the paycheck.”. Sound like anyone you know?
The Mediocre Officer is indecisive or, at worst, nonchalant. They are not engaging. They skate by, with everything. This person takes on the personality trait that they have already arrived or have risen as high as they can. His/her characteristics are “Laissez-faire” (indifferent, hands-off or do the bare minimum). One definition of laissez-faire is literal, “let it/them pass”. Meaning let it along. Don’t get involved. Don’t interfere. Don’t make changes. Don’t make decisions. Do you know someone like this? Is it you???
Please use the comment section to explain.
The 13 Career Crushers are universal indexes.
- Revenge is a dish best served cold or not at all…
- Treat others better than you want to be treated
- Use lists, take notes and a calender (planner)
- Keep your personal business “PERSONAL” – Manage
- Understand and practice your organization’s mission and goals
- Take care of your self; work, refresh and rest
- Stay current with industry and technology trends
- Stay trustworthy and transparent not C.Y.A.
- Respect your superiors, if not the person the position
- Truth crushed to earth will rise again
- Aggressive and/or Vociferous alignment or posturing is never good.
- Cutting corners is still cutting something
- Stay on your “A-Game”. Know your job and everyone elses.
What’s your take???
Many aspire to Leadership, but few understand its true nature. Leadership is not an ego game. True leaders have vision and place the goals of the institution above their own interests. True leaders realize the importance of the people working with them. True leaders are not only open to good ideas, but also have the courage to implement them. – j. donald walters
A few years ago, I (@j_alston) read a book by J. Donald Walters titled, “The Art of Leadership“. At the time, I thought it was a short and simple read. Oh how wrong that turned out to be. Since the first time I picked it up, I have been carrying it with me for about 11 years. It continues to yield great insight and confirmation. It has also been published under the title, “The Art of Supportive Leadership“; How very telling that title appears to be. It tells me that, being a leader, is not always the idea of getting support from the people you work with; but moreover being supportive of them as well. It is reciprocal. Their is a flow of energy, ideas and support; that is continuous. Symbiotic, as it were.
There are so many books on Leadership and Management. It is sometimes hard to choose the right ones. There are books that are specific to Fire and Emergency Management Services; and then there are those like this one that provide those critical nuggets of wisdom; those bursts of clarity that guide us, ever so gently, towards the right path.
Some of what I got from it:
- Understand the Nature of Leadership (It’s about people, “DUH”!)
- Lose the Ego (Easing God Out)
- Have Clarity of Vision (Knowing who you are and your purpose)
- Never lose sight of the goals of your institution or organization
- Recognize the importance of the people working with you (Collectively and Individually)
- Be Supportive
- De-prioritize your own personal ambitions, as they relate to others and your organization
- Be open and receptive
- Give value to the opinions of others
- Have the courage to implement action and change course when necessary
WHERE THERE IS RIGHT ACTION…THERE IS VICTORY.
– Sanskrit Proverb
more to follow…
by John Alston