Let’s say you’ve got the role of an educator down pretty cold, but you still encounter the headaches during company level training that we talked about earlier…what then? You have all the necessary abilities as an educator, but your company training still falls on deaf ears; maybe its time to venture out from the company level and into a more regimented routine. Training at the department, county or regional level might be an alternative, even if it’s only part time. Basic training of new firefighter recruits is a huge opportunity to create the right atmosphere and instill professionalism in each new candidate.
Continue to build your network, both above and below the chain…sincerity and charisma, coupled with really knowing the job, will do wonders for your career.
A great deal of your success is based on your personality. Sincerity and charisma go a long way to achieving your goals and objectives. Always continue to build up your network. This includes people at every level of the organization. Create a network of allies of all ranks that can back you up and support you even when you’re not in their presence.
Go out and solicit the best and brightest to work in your company. Even one will be a start!
Be a “headhunter.” Go out and solicit other like-minded and motivated people who share your enthusiasm and attitude for the fire service. You could have troops right now that abhor working for you and will tell you, “I didn’t join the Marine Corps.” Seek out those who would enjoy a disciplined and hard-charging atmosphere. Even having one staunch ally in your midst will boost your morale dramatically. You are only as good as your people, so start building your network right now. Start creating an environment where the best and brightest gravitate towards you and the less than motivated troops gravitate to others more in line with their desires and interest.
In Part 3 of this series, we’ll take a look at different ways we can foster initiative and create solutions in companies that may not have a lot of motivation or where unit pride is rather low.
ARMAND F. GUZZI JR. has been a member of the fire service since 1987. He recently retired as a career fire lieutenant with the City of Long Branch, NJ, Fire Department and is the deputy director of the Monmouth County, NJ, Fire Academy where he has taught for over 20 years. He has a masters degree in management and undergraduate degrees in fire science, education, and business administration. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.