“Who are You”
The road to success can be a long and winding road of trials and tribulations. The trials of everyday business can be rewarding at times, but can also emphasis our failures. We often struggle to bind the large pieces of the pie together, without focusing on the small pieces first.
After many years of chasing our dreams to wear â€œWhiteâ€, we are called upon to impact departments in a positive mannerâ€¦(and I donâ€™t mean trying to be everyoneâ€™s friend). We are forever looked at to guide organizations into the future, and make decisions for the betterment of the department.
Reaching heights of Chief can be somewhat mis-leading in many organizations. After spending so many years on the floor, you are now looked at for all the answers, but you continue to operate under your old ways in which you neglect to be the Chief, handling the Chief duties.
Flying by the seat of your pants every day is not a good thing, but all too common in todayâ€™s business. Expectations, priorities, and goals of future momentum need to be discussed, because without communication, there are no goals, priorities, or objectives the department needs to meet. It is important for any Chief to communicate on a daily basis with his/her officers on who, what, why, and when!
a). Who is in charge of what?
b). What needs to be done?
c). Why critical tasks need completed?
d). When projects need to be completed?
Being a leader in the fire service means a lot of things, itâ€™s not just about running fire calls. We must be visionaries, planners, financial planners, the voice of reason, while the list runs forever.
So, we must be honest with ourselves on a daily basis. You have to ask yourself each and every day, (am I doing my job, and allowing my officers to do their job?). This question you ask yourself each morning will truly tell you who you are.
You cannot tell your folks things are off track, when you never sat down to prioritize the department and how you want it to operate.
The next time you think that things are off track, as a few questions to your staff members:
Â a). What qualities do you want me to possess?
Â b). What priorities should I have?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â c). What goals do you want to accomplish as a department?
It is truly your responsibility to set the benchmarks of the organization, but you cannot do it alone. Today is the day to make a positive change in yourself, and in return creating a positive atmosphere for your team!
About the author:
Jeremy Rebok is the Assistant Fire Chief of Operations and Prevention at the United States Military Academy, NY. Â He has previously held the position of Captain, Assistant Chief, and Deputy Chief in both volunteer and career capacities. Jeremy holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Building Construction Technology from the Pennsylvania College of Technology and currently finishing up Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University.