My philosophy of leadership is understanding as a leader, your life will be that of service. You have to care for your crew, those you serve and you must care for yourself. Leadership can make one feel isolated at times, but instant feedback may rarely ever happen. However, just like tension in a room, control and respect is palpable. Whether or not you have respect, you will be able to feel it. You have to care about the people you serve, regardless of your opinions or experiences we are here to help others. If you don’t understand that we are here to serve you, you will never fully grasp everything else. My philosophy can be broken down into five basic principles.
1. Lead by example:
You are the example that you expect others to follow. There’s a saying that those under your command will either rise to your expectations or fall to their own. Having a set of standards and an unwavering required level of proficiency that you personify will make your crew perform at a higher level.
2. Be Thorough:
Doing things correctly the first time includes having the correct equipment for the task or call and wearing your gear correctly as needed. Being technically and tactically proficient in all tools and apparatus we use is essential. If there’s uncertainty or a shortcoming, we will train to a proficient level. Taking the initiative to do what needs to be done when there’s a need for action.
3. Be Courteous:
As employees of a public service agency, we are the face of the company and the department as a whole when in the field. It is important to be polite and carry yourself professionally. Remember, it is their emergency for which they called us, and we are here to serve. Your actions have a ripple effect on the lives of those you serve.
4. Be Professional in appearance:
Greatness starts with the individual. Take pride in yourself and your uniform. The department has a uniform policy, and you need to be presentable. Being clean-shaven while on duty is a must. As stated before, we are the face of the department that the public sees every day on the streets. We are professional firefighters, and how we dress and carry ourselves is what sets us apart from others.
5. Be proud:
Love the job; life is short, and your career is even shorter. However, the impact you have on people can last a lifetime. Take every day to be the firefighter you would look up to and be proud of who you are. Be proud of the uniform you wear, the patch you have earned, and the career you are in.