Becoming The Leader Of The Fire Service

Leadership Definition

Leadership Button

Listen, before we really dig into what leadership is all about, or you’re going to skip reading this article because you think “well I’m not a leader yet, so who cares?” Stop. Stop and read this whole article, because it’s going to be extremely valuable to you going forward.

Not everyone walks into life as a natural born leader. In fact, I would argue that most people aren’t created that way at all. I know I sure as hell wasn’t. In fact, growing up, I was incredibly shy, reserved and never thought I could speak in public to save my life. I was this way for years and years at the firehouse, until I finally developed my voice. (And who knew I would become a dispatcher with thousands of people listening to me everyday).

It came through a variety of ways, but mostly I could see that I was being groomed and primed for a leadership role with the way the firehouse was shaping at the time. We had lost a lot of seasoned members over a five year period, which left very few people to be able to step up and take control of the house. That’s a problem that I see a lot of other firehouses going through now too.

It’s difficult to control the loss of manpower in many cases, they just need to move on for their own reasons (work, family, life). But there are still so many things that your department should be doing to help try to retain people and also continually recruit people, but that’s for another article.

Anyways, back to my story, I felt honored and privileged to be groomed for a leadership role. But I wasn’t confident in my abilities at that point. In fact, when the deadline for applications for Captain came near, I was asked by several Chiefs why I hadn’t put mine in yet. I knew they saw qualities in me that I had yet to fully realize. And that’s when I began taking action.

I had never really been put in major leadership roles in the past, but I knew that I was going to have to soon. Like most people, I didn’t have a clue where to begin, so I just started doing what other leaders ahead of me had done. After all, if it had worked for them, it most of should certainly work for me too. Over time, I molded that and created my own way of leading.

Now I’m pretty obsessed with creating amazing leaders because I have seen how powerful having a solid leadership team in place can affect a department. I’ll be completely honest, I’m still growing in this respect too, but I know that the more leaders we can help develop through The Bravest Volunteers, the better the Brotherhood will be.

A Vital Lesson:

You never know when you’re going to be primed for a leadership role, so why the hell would you sit back and wait for it to become a quality leader? I wish I had sought resources long before I was put into that role, because I know I would have been a much more effective leader. Don’t get me wrong, I feel I did a good job, I’d give myself a solid B. But a B isn’t good enough for me anymore, which is why The Bravest Volunteers exists, because if I can raise any leader, past, present or future to an A, then we’re talking serious impact.

Here’s the thing though, and I will say this in everything I do. Success will not come to those that sit back and wait. You have to become motivated to learn, grow and seek out those resources that will help you become a better person. This blog should be just one of many things you’re reading to become a better leader.

Yes, I’m suggesting that you put down your smart phone, put down the tv remote and pick up a book. I’ll forgive you if it’s a Kindle or E-book, because I prefer real books that I can mark and put notes into, but read something. Just get started today. Personal growth is something that takes time to see results, but until you get started, you’re just delaying your results. And when you delay your results, you’re not doing your future self any justice.

 

P.S. If you haven’t signed up for our blog newsfeed yet, you should probably do that right now so you get more amazing content as soon as we send it out.

P.P.S We should continue this conversation on Facebook, tell me what you think about personal growth HERE.

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Chris Lockwood

Chris is the own of The Bravest Volunteers. He's worked as a 911 dispatcher since 2004 and been a volunteer fire fighter since 2002. During that time he served as Captain before moving to a new town.

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