to the editor let ters
subsequent bugle. This isn’t always
the case, but I am sure that you can
think of at least one person who may fit
When I see an opportunity to tap into
the things that a firefighter finds in-
triguing, I am going to give the fire-
fighter a chance to shine—to take
charge with company training or take
the lead on an incident scene. I will
stand near should I have to take over,
I hope that I might get a few of the old
hats to think a little bit about what used
to excite them as new firefighters and
how, if they had been given the chance,
they would gladly have stepped up and
taken center stage.
Lieutenant T- 21
Covington (GA) Fire Department
THE ENEMIES OF TRUST
Trust is a value that is in us, our teams,
and our organizations. Creating and
maintaining trust are paramount for leaders; yet, unfortunately, many do not see
the need for paying attention to it. Leaders can mistakenly assume that their
rank and the ability to say “Because I said
so” binds people to their decision.
Trust is having confidence in yourself.
As a leader, do you create training opportunities for others to gain more confidence in their skill set? Do you help motivate them to train when they or you
don’t feel like it? Do you seek to close
the gap of what they think they know
with the reality of what they do know?
Leaders should help people find their
strengths and identify their weaknesses.
People who do not know their jobs and
lack confidence will act hesitantly, offer
excuses, and be content with the lowest
acceptable level of performance permissible. These people are more rampant in
our organizations than we would like to
admit. They often stand in opposition to
leadership, undermining efforts to create
buy-in to our mission, and place their interests before others.
Leaders must have courage to persistently root out complacency in their
organizations and teams. Complacency
stands in the way of your knowing your
job, yourself, and your capabilities. It is
an enemy of trust.
Trust is the ability to rely on others.
Individuality thrives in our society. Entitlement and bad attitudes can manifest
themselves at any time in our organizations, regardless of members’ tenure.
Lone-wolf thinking can produce disastrous results, especially when good advice from teammates goes unheeded.
Our mission is built on the construct
of the fire service company—we before
I. The company affords us the collective
brain trust in which we can address any
problem quickly, efficiently, and correctly.
If leaders do not create training situations
that necessitate the synergy and problem
solving of teamwork, how would members learn their value? Also, if we don’t
create these opportunities for teamwork,
are we inadvertently condoning a culture
in which the perception of self becomes
more valuable than the group?