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    Default What is leadership?

    How would you define 'leadership'? What does it mean to you? How do you achieve it? What does it take to be a 'leader'? Be it a word, a couple words, a phrase, or a paragraph, how would you define something that is so important, but at times seems to be in short supply? Thanks for your input!
    "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

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    This may not be complete - but off the top of my head....

    Leadership....the ability to make decisions and stick with them - but also willing to listen to others and evaluate and decide if any changes need to be made. Willing to do/perform what they ask others to do (talking about Fire Service here)....forward thinking, assertive.....

    Almost forgot....RESPECT!
    Last edited by pasobuff; 03-16-2010 at 10:01 PM.

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    There are plenty of definitions of leadership, but for me personally, it is standing up for what is right.....EVERY TIME no matter what!!
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    I'll take this from what a national guard recruiter told me. I think this happens to be the army values? Maybe a member can provide greater insight, but here it is.

    Loyalty
    Duty
    Respect
    Selfless Service
    Honor
    Integrity
    Personal Courage

    Then of course if you look at the first letters it spells LDRSHIP. That's how I define it now.

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    Just from a personal point of view, leadership is summarised in two words.
    " Follow Me!"

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    This definition is quoted from Army Field Manual 6-22. It is what I have been trying to live by for my career in the Army as well as my time in the fire service. It has worked well for me in the last 16 years of my Army career and the five years as a volunteer in the fire service.

    "Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.

    BE-KNOW-DO

    Leadership begins with what the leader must BE—the values and attributes that shape character. It may be helpful to think of these as internal and defining qualities possessed all the time.

    Knowledge that leaders should use in leadership is what Soldiers and Army civilians KNOW. Leadership requires knowing about tactics, technical systems, organizations, management of resources, and the tendencies and needs of people. Knowledge shapes a leader’s identity and is reinforced by a leader’s actions.

    What leaders DO, or leader actions, is directly related to the influence they have on others and what is done. As with knowledge, leaders will learn more about leadership as they serve in different positions."

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    A leader is someone that enables your to do your job. They provide direction and guidance as needed.

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    Default 10 Basic Principles of Leadership

    I try, with pretty good success to follow these:

    1) Achieve professional competence

    2) Evaluate your own strengths and limitations and pursue self-improvement

    3) Seek and accept responsibility

    4) Lead by Example

    5) Make sure that your followers know your meaning and intent, and then lead them to the accomplishment of the mission

    6) Know your soldiers and promote their welfare

    7) Develop the leadership potential of your followers

    8) Make sound and timely decisions

    9) Train your soldiers as a team and employ them up to their capabilities

    10) Keep your followers informed of the mission, the changing situation and the overall picture.
    ===

    There are brief descriptions or captions for each of the above. Or in an nutshell what CGITCH said!

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    I can't do "edit" from work. One last thing I should have written:

    "Leadership is the art of influencing human behaviour in such a way as to accopmlish the mission in the manner as desired by the Leader."

    ==

    I think that one is actually my true favourite.

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    All very good responses and nothing that I can disagree with. A supervisor at work told me once that his job was to remove obsticles and provide the tools that I needed to do my job and then let me do my job. To me that is part of leadership as will.

    One thing that I've noticed is that you can't learn or teach leadership in a classroom. You can teach people to become managers, but not necessarily leaders. I've become convinced that most people are either natural leaders or not. You can do some things to improve leadership skills like communication and how to deal with different personalities, but I'm not convinced that you can turn someone who is not a leader naturally into a leader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post

    One thing that I've noticed is that you can't learn or teach leadership in a classroom. You can teach people to become managers, but not necessarily leaders. I've become convinced that most people are either natural leaders or not. You can do some things to improve leadership skills like communication and how to deal with different personalities, but I'm not convinced that you can turn someone who is not a leader naturally into a leader.
    I think this is sooooo true.
    "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

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    I've always been told that leadership is an artform that you either have or have not. I'm still trying to find out if I have it or not.

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    Default leadership to me

    Say what you mean, mean what you say.

    Never put your crew in a situation you aren't prepared to go into yourself.

    Don't be a slacker of a f/f and then crack the whip as a leader... it won't work

    Earn respect, don't demand it

    Be their leader in the firehall and their buddy outside work...I have seen too much buddy buddy stuff at work with some, while others are left on the outside looking in. (Regarding discipline and general work ethic)

    Just my two cents...but what do I know...I only have 10 years on...I am still learning but I have hopes of being a leader one day before I retire

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    I try, with pretty good success to follow these:

    1) Achieve professional competence

    2) Evaluate your own strengths and limitations and pursue self-improvement

    3) Seek and accept responsibility

    4) Lead by Example

    5) Make sure that your followers know your meaning and intent, and then lead them to the accomplishment of the mission

    6) Know your soldiers and promote their welfare

    7) Develop the leadership potential of your followers

    8) Make sound and timely decisions

    9) Train your soldiers as a team and employ them up to their capabilities

    10) Keep your followers informed of the mission, the changing situation and the overall picture.
    ===

    There are brief descriptions or captions for each of the above. Or in an nutshell what CGITCH said!


    There you are the best said.

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    Many people with leadership qualities don't like to be in charge... they are afraid of coming across as "bossy" or as dictators... While they may be fit for leadership, they end up not pursuing leadership roles.

    On the other hand, many people who don't possess good leadership qualities are attracted to being a leader, because they crave authority, or the feeling of "being in charge", commanding respect.

    But what they don't realize is, being a good leader is not about commanding respect, but earning it.

    A real leader's position is nominated by others because others recognize the qualifications, not because the person himself feels or says he is qualified.

    Not being aggressive, but assertive. A leader doesn't have all the answers, but knows where to go to find them. A leader has the good will of those he is in leadership of.

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    A leader doesn't have all the answers, but knows where to go to find them. A leader has the good will of those he is in leadership of.


    Thats where your Subject Matter Experts come into play. If you know someone else in the team has specialist knowledge or experience, USE HIM! Or at least ask him for his "considered opinion".

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    A Leader must...

    Be True to his Command,
    Serve those he/she Leads,
    and must Lead by Example.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    I would define leadership as a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. In defining leadership as a process rather than a trait, it implies that leadership is something that can be learned rather than a trait that resides in select indiviudals. Leadership is not a one-way linear event but an interactive process that focuses on creating a vision, setting strategies, communicating goals, seeking commitment, building teams, and inspiring, motivating and empowering others.
    Last edited by cheffie; 03-17-2010 at 02:35 PM.

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    Default Leadership

    Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker, wrote that a good leader and communicator can get his her employees to do what they want because they, the employees, want to do the work. Whereas, a poor leader/communicator gets employees to do just enough not to get in trouble or lose their job.

    Communication and mutual respect are the keys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaybo77 View Post
    Many people with leadership qualities don't like to be in charge... they are afraid of coming across as "bossy" or as dictators... While they may be fit for leadership, they end up not pursuing leadership roles.

    On the other hand, many people who don't possess good leadership qualities are attracted to being a leader, because they crave authority, or the feeling of "being in charge", commanding respect.

    But what they don't realize is, being a good leader is not about commanding respect, but earning it.

    A real leader's position is nominated by others because others recognize the qualifications, not because the person himself feels or says he is qualified.

    Not being aggressive, but assertive. A leader doesn't have all the answers, but knows where to go to find them. A leader has the good will of those he is in leadership of.
    I've had leadership roles in the past and honestly don't like them. The problem with being a leader is dealing with peoples personal problems and the slackers.

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    Double post.
    Last edited by Catch22; 03-17-2010 at 03:17 PM.

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    Something I try to follow from a guy that knew a thing or two about leadership. These are the 10 guidelines of leadership by Major Richard Winters.

    1. Strive to be a leader of flawless character, technical competence and moral courage.
    Flawless character—start with honesty. Character provides a leader with a moral compass that focuses his efforts on the values we cherish: courage, honesty, selflessness, and respect for our fellow man. Character also allows you to make decisions quickly and correctly.

    Technical competency—Those entrusted to lead must study their profession to become totally proficient in tactics and technology. Read and be prepared. You should study to develop your own personality; your own personal perspective on command.

    Moral courage—means doing what you know to be right even when commanded to do different.

    2. Lead from the front. Say, “Follow me!” and then lead the way.
    Never ask your team to do something you wouldn’t do yourself…You cannot make sound decisions unless you are at the point of attack. Leaders should always position themselves where the critical decisions must be made. Precisely where that location should be is a judgment call, but in my experience leader should be as far forward as possible. Successful leaders must be highly visible, if for no other reason than to share the hardships of their men.

    3. Stay in top physical shape:
    Physical stamina is the root of mental toughness. Physical exhaustion leads to mental fatigue.

    4. Develop your team.
    If you know your people, are fair in setting realistic goals and expectations, and lead by example, you will develop teamwork.

    5. Delegate responsibility to your subordinates and let them do their jobs.
    You can’t do a good job if you don’t have a chance to use your imagination and your creativity. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team in order to assign the right men to the proper jobs. There is no need to tell someone how to do his job if you have properly trained your team.

    6. Anticipate problems and prepare to overcome obstacles.
    Don’t wait until you get to the top of the ridge and then make up your mind. Careful preparation and anticipation of potential problems eliminates many of the obstacles that one encounters on the battlefield. Good preparation is always vital to the success of any operation, but leader must remain flexible on the action commences.

    7. Remain humble.
    Don’t worry about who receives the credit. Never let power or authority go to your head. Leaders should assume responsibility when the operation fails; when it succeeds, credit the men and women in your team. They do the lion’s share of the work. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.

    8. Take a moment of self-reflection.
    Look at yourself in the mirror every night and ask yourself if you did your best. Take a moment of self-reflection before rushing into an important decision. Many leaders don’t take the time to consider carefully their decisions or the implications of their actions. The opportunity for self-analysis allows you to find your own self-consciousness, which in turn tells you if you are getting off track. Nobody will have to tell you that the course of action that you are contemplating is incorrect or ineffective. If you take advantage of opportunities for personal reflection, and if you honestly examine yourself, you will be a more effective leader.

    9. True satisfaction comes from getting the job done.
    The key to a successful leader is to earn respect—not because of rank or position, but because you are a leader of character.

    10. Hang Tough!—Never, ever give up.
    If you are a leader, a fellow who other fellows look to, you have got to keep going.

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