In part 1 we discussed how the leadership compass is built and how you as a leader in the fire service need to develop a leadership philosophy.
Putting Together A Plan, Need An Example?
Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, write them into a philosophy that you can share with your team. Try to keep it under 500 words, and don’t dive into the weeds of tactics and operations. This document is simply to convey your values and expectations.
As an example, here is my leadership philosophy.
“As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”
“Iron on Iron.”
These three simple words that define what we’re about on Engine 7-B as we help each other achieve our moral, mental and physical best.
As our team leader, there are certain guiding principles that drive my behavior and actions. I share these with you so that you will better understand what to expect of me and what I expect of you.
Captain Cannon’s Principles
First and foremost, I live by the Golden Rule. I treat others the way I would like to be treated. I will lead our engine the way I like to be led; with respect, competence and good humor.
We – you and I – must act with principle.
Demonstrate INTEGRITY by maintaining high moral CHARACTER and self-discipline even when no one is watching.
Be HONEST and be LOYAL in your relationships at all times.
Have the COURAGE to stand up for what is right and for those who cannot help themselves.
Demonstrate PRIDE in the traditions of the fire service, our department, our station, and our equipment. Be morally, mentally and physically ready to perform.
Your career is important but it is not as important as your family. If you have a family need or a major family event, good or bad, let me know. Our team is also a family. Make sure to be there when your family needs you.
Here is a direct order… If you see a problem, fix it.
If you can’t fix it then point it out and help us figure out a solution! This is especially important on the fire-ground!
If you see something that is making you uncomfortable on the fireground or at the station you should say to me, “Captain, are you seeing what I’m seeing here?” That’ll be my que to let me know I might be about to make a big mistake, or that I need to consider another alternative.
My Pet Peeves
– Using profanity or tobacco products when we are in public
– Horseplay. It’s funny until you cause a career-ending injury. Don’t participate.
-Talking on your cell phone on the way to a call.
Above all, we must be iron for each other. Whether it’s personally or professionally, help others stay sharp. I’ll do it for you, and expect you to return the favor.
Remember that when people call us they are likely to having a bad day – perhaps the worst day- of their lives. We are privileged to have a job that let’s us help them so let’s do our best to make a positive difference for them.
Until next time take some of these points into consideration and see if they work for you. Email me or comment below and let me know what you do already or what you plan to do to become a better leader.
Part 2 of 2