My VFD has a problem in that the "leadership" are nothing more than managers and have no real idea what leadership is about.
Anybody else have a problem in that the Chief officers & other officers think/dream that they are true leaders when in fact they are nothing more than managers & some of them are serious micro-managers at that.
What do you think the definition is of being a "leader" in todays fire service.
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Thread: Leadership Vs Management
03-04-2005, 08:50 PM #1
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- Feb 2005
Leadership Vs Management
Last edited by Rottie; 03-04-2005 at 08:55 PM.
03-04-2005, 11:57 PM #2
Today's Fire Service "Leaders" must be both a Leader and a Manager.
Leadership could be defined as the ability to unify, motivate, and direct a group towards an end.
Management is the ability to organize that group to most efficiently and effectively reach that end.
A leader without management skills may be able lead the troops to the castle wall, but lacking management skills, he will be unable to effectively organize and coordinate his resources to breach it's defenses. Truly effective "Leadership" can't exist with only one skill set. Some Fire Service Officers excel in one role, but not the other. This does not automatically doom them to fail, but failure to identify and understand their personal weaknesses might.
I know many corporate managers who are excellent "leaders", but lack management skills. They are usually successful if they can identify that weakness, and surround themselves with support staff who are excellent Managers. Likewise, I know some Corporate Managers who excel on the "management" side, but have difficulty motivating those around them. This is often the more difficult position to be in, but by placing good leadership in between them and the troops, they can achieve a similar result. I find that Leadership is difficult to train. Management on the other hand can usually be learned and perfected with practice.
Either way, if a management team is not performing at their desired level, they are probably wondering why themselves. An astute Junior Officer or Senior Member may be able to contribute to the team by helping to fill that void in either the leadership or management side. When faced with a person who cannot identify the weakness in themselves, especially a micro-manager, it is best to be discreet at first. Directly challenging "The Boss's" ability often brings undesired results.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
03-09-2005, 03:27 PM #3
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- Feb 2002
- Cypress, TX
Excellent post and I'll second the micro-management end of it. If you have someone as the head of the organization that delegates and then performs the tasks themselves anyway, bad things happens. Through training I tried to bring the department into line with national standards (ICS, Accountability, Safety Officer, RIT, etc, etc) and the chief didn't buy into any of it because it didn't allow him to have his hands into everything personally, and he didn't think of it, so it wasn't any good. Plus it was another case of "we've never done it that way before, don't need it now."
03-11-2005, 10:45 AM #4
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- Feb 2005
Management dictates. Leaders guide and assist.
You manage THINGS
You lead PEOPLE
Now and again there are those chosen few who have to knowingly enter a situation where there is a strong chance that they will not make it home to their loved ones. These men suck it up, drive on and save the lives of others with the sacrifice of theirs. These men are heroes and they are a rare and noble breed.
Management sits around a table in a conference room deciding what to dictate.
Leaders are in the field at the head of their pack making sure assigned personnel are getting the job done right the first time.
Management signs paychecks.
Leaders are those people who are looked up to for guidance, tough situation assistance and who can be counted on to give you hell when you screw up - coupled with what you need to know so that you don't screw up again.
Management sees you as an entity, a resource. Leaders see you as people, valuable to the execution of the assigned tasks.
A leader lets you know in a truly heartfelt way when you've done a good job and your efforts are appreciated.
A manager only says it superficially...
A leader knows the job inside and out and can perform as an example. A leader grows and nurtures their replacement starting immediately. A leader makes the hard calls even when it is not popular. A leader demands loyalty from his team and gives it at the same time. A leader does not ask/demand that his people do anything he won't get right in there and do with them. Above all, a leader can look at themselves in the mirror every day and have respect for whom they see.
You will find a Leader out in the field doing the job alongside his/her troops, while the Manager is back at the office.
A true leader doesn't eat until his troops are fed
It's an odd dichotomy that a company officer is both DI and nursemaid, but it's how it works out. The more trust the officer has in his men, the more that trust will be rewarded. Of course, they crew needs to be able to do their job first... both from a basic skills and a managerial micromanagement standpoint.
03-11-2005, 10:59 AM #5
Leadership with no management ability leads to a bunch of happy guys that accomplish little. Management with no leadership leads to a bunch of guy with jobs they don't want to do. Life requires both.
03-11-2005, 11:25 AM #6
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- Feb 2005
Leadership requires motivating people to want to make the standard, and developing new standards for new situations. This means the leader has to put his neck/job/reputation on the line - where Management can point to the existing standard to cover his/her ***.
It all comes down to PEOPLE.
Furthermore, any leader/supervisor who does not get complained on occasionally is doing absolutely nothing to move the organization forward. But not all complaints are related to good leaders doing a good job...
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