June 24, 2018
I have been a firefighter since the age of 16 and it wasn't recently until I learned what the fire service has taught me revolving around being a leader, and who I am as a person. I owe this blog to the men and women of the Farmville Fire Department for truly showing me what it means to be a leader, a follower, and a being apart of a team that means so much to me.
I have seen my fair share of fires, car accidents, entrapments, deaths, and lift assists and it wasn’t until a recent fire call we had that made me realize that my metaphor of leadership is a growing fire. I believe leadership is starting to become more relational as we enter the post-industrial phase of leadership. This phase in leaderships is starting to become centered around our social environment and the relationships we form with others. In order for any fire to grow and not die out, there are three essential elements: heat, oxygen, and fuel. If one of these elements is taken away, the fire will slowly dwindle and die or not able to grow and expand to other areas. In order to be fully successful, any leader needs to display these three essential relationship principles. These three essential components of any successful relationship and being a leader are: communication, integrity, and a willingness to learn and grow.
Listed below are 5 characteristics that make firefighter great leaders on and off scene.
Looking on the bright side helps make things better. Zig Ziglar said: “When you change what goes into your mind, when you change the picture, when you chart a course of action, when you set personal and professional goals, what you're doing is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about your future right now. He also said: “Positive thinking won't let you do anything but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. Positive thinking will let you use the ability, training, experience and knowledge you have and that is awesome.”We all make mistakes, but as Zig Zilar once said: “Failure is an event not a person. Yesterday really did end last night. Understand tomorrow is a brand-new day. You can make it better or make it worse. The choice is yours to make.” As firefighters we don't choose when the tones decide to drop, who we get to work with on scene, and who we are trying to help/comfort in their time of need. And as leaders we do not choose when we want to lead. It is something we are called to do and how we apply and understand these five characteristics will determine your success as a leader, and guess what…. If we mess up that is ok, we always have the next day to learn from our mistakes.
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