Leadership in a World Gone Mad

Times are tough my friends. There is not a day which goes by when you and I fail to see the harsh realities of the current economic state of our nation. Fire departments are being asked to come up with budget cuts which are devastating in the depth and...


The person man who is truly worthy of being call a leader will never complain about the stupidity of his helpers, the ingratitude of mankind nor the in appreciation of the public.

If you are going to be the boss you need to stand up to the world and take full responsibility for the actions of your team. Of course this will be a lot easy on the leader if they have taken the precaution of picking the right people to assist them.

All of this is part of the game of life. Problems will pop up every day. A well-prepared and stand-up leader will be able to meet these problems head on and then be able to overcome them and not to go down before them in disgust, discouragement, or defeat.

Leaders need to empower their subordinates to perform research on the whole range of ways in which service can be delivered to the public. As you might imagine, I do a great deal of reading in any given week. I am also blessed with a number of frequent correspondents. I truly enjoy the give and take of ideas that flows back and forth on the Internet.

It is my fervent belief that each of us must work to the fullest extent of our own potential. It is critical for us all to accept the responsibility for our actions, whether the result is positive or negative. The apportionment of blame is a worthless waste of our valuable time and energy. I have long considered persons in positions of leadership to be servants of those entrusted to their care. That is how I attempted to live my life anyway. There were successes and there were some striking failures. But there was always a caring and concern for the people entrusted to my care.

Unfortunately, I have seen far too many people whose sole reason for becoming leaders was to feather their own individual nests. This behavior begins to create an aura of organizational selfishness. It can lead to people only doing what they are required to do. In the current economic state, people like this will kill their organization. Who wants to follow a leader who will throw people under the bus to keep what they have?

It has been my experience that too many people seek to place the blame for their failures on other people. They fail to recognize their shortcomings and, instead, lash out at those around them. Unfortunately, I have even heard those words spring forth from my own lips. The reason for this is quite simple. Placing blame on someone else is much easier than owning up to your own shortcomings. I wish to assure you that I haven't done this in quite sometime.

I discovered a long time ago that one good way to stay out ahead of the learning curve is to read a great deal. Do not limit yourself to just technical or just behavioral literature. Search far and wide for new approaches to old problems. The answer to your fire service problem may be in Popular Mechanic, Harper's Bazaar, or Time magazine. You never know where inspiring thoughts will spring from.

Having a fairly extensive personal library that includes magazines dating back to the 1920's, has allowed me to develop a fairly unique perspective. Can you imagine how many of today's problems mirror things that went wrong in the 1930's? More than you might think. On a recent journey to my own library, I went to the far end of the bookshelf and pulled a couple of classics which I have used many times in the past

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The first book was entitled The Leadership Lessons of Jesus, and the second was More Leadership Lessons of Jesus. As is my way, I will leave no stone unturned when it comes to my search for a better way of doing leadership training and writing. I was also familiar with Mr. Briner's work, having read The Management Methods of Jesus, at the urging of my Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church, in Freehold, New Jersey, way back in 1997 when I was working in the Training Division in the Newark Fire Department. It helped me through a number of particularly tough times in my life in the city.