In Part 1, I shared the first 2 principles which you can click here to read. Now, I will share with you principles 3-5.
EXCELLENCE PRINCIPLE #3-BE THE ROLE MODEL OTHERS WANT TO FOLLOW.
This principle is based upon the premise that firefighters that WANT to follow their leader with take the department to greatness. For those that have been in the profession for some time, never forget that you set the benchmark for others to follow.
Your commitment or lack thereof to growing the department is noted. Your commitment or lack thereof to growing other firefighters is noted. If you are only going through the motions, then how can you expect others to WANT to join the fire department? How can you expect others to WANT to follow in your foot steps? Nelson Mandela knew full well what it was like to be a role model, and once said: “After climbing a great hill, one finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk has not yet ended.” Your commitment to being a role model that others WANT to follow is noted EVERYDAY.
EXCELLENCE PRINCIPLE #4-EXCEED EXPECTATIONS
This principle is based upon the belief that life favours those that exceed expectations. Never forget that actions have consequences. Strive to always exceed expectations because the more good work that you do, the more success you will achieve. Noted author John Maxwell stated, “-If you want to be a big picture thinker, you will have to go against the flow of the world. Society wants to keep people in boxes. Most people are married mentally to the status quo. They want what was, not what can be. They seek safety and simple answers. To think big-picture, you need to give yourself permission to go a different way, to break new ground, to find new worlds to conquer. And when your world does get bigger, you need to celebrate. Never forget there is more out there in the world than what you’ve experienced. As an individual and as a department, you must give yourself permission to exceed expectations.
Move past the status quo, break free from the chains of peer pressure that hold back greatness, and strive to exceed expectations everyday. Michelangelo stated, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
EXCELLENCE PRINCIPLE #5-BE THE TEAM.
There is a big difference between being part of A team and being THE team.
There is no difference between a professional sports team and the fire service.
Great players on the team does not guarantee success.
This principle simply means, that THE team is about being there for each other and more importantly, being THE team that holds each other accountable. DO NOT be afraid to hold each other accountable, because without THE team building each other up, identifying expectations and holding each other accountable, the team is only A team and not THE team. Remember that there are three kinds of firefighters, those who get things done, those who watch things get done and those that wonder how so much got done. Every firefighter must decide which firefighter he/she wants to be for THE team.
Rest assured, this decision will determine whether A team THE team exists in the department. Every firefighter is the living and breathing fire service.
We can have the best equipment, the best vision, mission and value statements, but without a well oiled functioning team, the department suffers.
It’s easy to forget that every firefighter makes a difference.
We should never minimize the impact we have in the firehouse, community, and the lives of those we serve and those we love. Never underestimate the power of kind words, a loving smile, an empathetic ear or a helping hand.
It is up to you if you want to achieve new levels of excellence.