Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation

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Mr. Charles Dale Cavnor

I subscribe to a servant leadership philosophy, believing this philosophical system is the most suitable and adaptive to public safety Special Operations teams like our Hazmat Team. To me, servant leadership meant inverting a seemingly antiquated power pyramid that primarily supported and funneled efforts on solely supporting those at the top of an organization, exchanging and placing the employee’s success (both personal and organizational) above my own success. Operating under the premise that if the employees, who are downstream in the organization, are successful, empowered, engaged, and unencumbered in their work, that upstream organizational leadership will undoubtedly experience unparalleled success. Within small teams, I believe the social interactions are continuous and complex, with an emergent group identity punctuated by expected group norms, accountability, positive self-perception, and self-discipline for the team’s sake as defining characteristics. As such groups are so specialized and somewhat closed to outsiders, leadership must be flexible in thought as it pertains to cultivating and transforming informal leaders into formal ones. Servant leaders, especially for HazMat Team leaders, must be willing to evolve and meticulously balance their efforts to direct, motivate, support, and protect the team from internal and external stressors that would seek to disrupt a cohesive and productive team. Servant leaders make the success of the subordinate their mission, understanding that team success translates to the leader’s success.