To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login
Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.
Complete the registration form.
The manner in which a conductor has climbed the ladder of success will also play a great part in determining the success or failure of the operation. If a conductor does not like the work of a particular composer, that music will gather dust in the archives of the orchestra's library. It matters not what the members of the orchestra think or care. The musical preferences of that leader will create the parameters of that group's environment. Does that sound familiar?
If the education of the conductor has led them in the direction of a particular school of musical thought, then that is the genre with which they feel comfortable. Hence, they will play things that fall within their comfort zone. Some have experienced a very tightly controlled musical education. These people will be rigid in the creation of their environment. Does that sound familiar to you?
Some conductors solicit the opinions of their musicians. Others do not. Some maestros care about the mental attitude of their musicians, while others couldn't care less about how their people feel. Others work to create an atmosphere that is conducive to good feelings. The same is true in the world of fire and emergency services.
If you are a leader, or aspire to be a leader, you will discover that you too have the same opportunities to create an environment. It has been my pleasure to have labored for some really neat leaders. They were able to create an environment of caring and sharing. These folks were open and caring. You always knew where you stood. They were open to discuss things and willing to listen to the other person's opinions. Others really did not give a hoot about anyone other than themselves. They created an environment of confusion.
The really good leaders knew the job and were well aware of what needed to be done. The work was usually tough, dirty and dangerous. These fine men also cared more about people than things. We were far more than just numbers to them. They laid out the requirements, created a great environment, and were lavish in their praise of a job well done. We were able to navigate through the environment they created for us. In short, they were a joy to work with. The environment they created was stimulating. Their support was outstanding. Many of us worked to emulate the lessons learned from them.
It is my hope that you see the need in your organization for an environment wherein you can enjoy playing your part in the overall accomplishment of its mission, goals and objectives. If you are the follower, work to play a solid part. Let the powers that be know they can count on you when the going gets rough.
If you are the leader, it is up to you to do your job. Set the tone and tenor of your operation and work hard to create an environment that is both stimulating and supportive. The job must be done, one way or the other. Is it not better to create a place where you people will enjoy contributing and participating? The call is yours.
Harry R. Carter, Ph.D., CFO, MIFireE, is a Firehouse contributing editor. A municipal fire protection consultant based in Adelphia, NJ, he is the former president of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He is a past chief and active life member of the Adelphia Fire Company. Currently the chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for Howell Township District 2, he retired from the Newark, NJ, Fire Department in 1999 as a battalion commander. He also served as chief of training and commander of the Hazardous Materials Response Team. Dr. Carter is secretary of the United States Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers of Great Britain (MIFireE). You can contact him through at firstname.lastname@example.org.