Why We Must Build Our In The Fire Station Leadership Skills
90% of our time and energy as fire officers happens away from the fire ground. – John Dixon
Most of us fire officers spend the bulk of our training learning how to lead on the fire ground, yet most of their issues will occur off of the fire ground and in the administrative side of the job.
This is why we must have great leadership skills in leading our personnel when not on the fire ground.
Here are 3 skills that great officer’s emulate in the fire station:
Must Have Skill #1 – Motivator
Be a great motivator and someone who inspires others to do something we want/need them to do because they want to do it.
Here are 4 steps on how to motivate your crew:
1- Discover what motivates them both individually and collectively.
2- Help them achieve their goals, personally & professionally
3- Align what you need them to do with what they want to do.
4- Evaluate to see if adequate progress is being made based on these motivating factors. If not, go deeper on discovering what motivates them.
Must Have Skill #2 – Role Model
Be a great role model and set the standard in the fire station, then be the best example of that standard.
1- Seek higher education to gain and learn new ways to do our job better.
2- Lead by example by wearing our uniforms and PPE properly with pride and distinction.
3- Represent ourselves and the organization in a positive light.
4- Be enthusiastic
Firefighting is the best job in the world whether we are career or volunteer. – John Dixon
Must Have Skill #3- Student of Firefighting
Become technically and tactically proficient. Here’s how:
1- Stay up to date with all the new research and studies.
2- Go to training seminars.
3- Review the text books and read other books about firefighting, leadership and personal development to become better.
A good student of the fire service is an open minded one. Do not fall into the trap of “that is the way we have always done it”! – John Dixon, Firefighter Toolbox
4- Be a student and learn new techniques and theories to be on the cutting edge
5- Drill with your crew – find more and engaging ways to train with your crew.
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.