Being a leader is a full time job and we can't afford to be complacent in this job. Every day you have to prove that you are worthy to be a leader in this organization. Respect and loyalty is something that is earned every day. Putting on the gold collar brass and a badge does not come with a can of respect spray. Your actions in the station and on the incident will define what type of leader you are. There are times you have to hold the reins tights and other time you can ease off. Being a new officer can be a bit overwhelming, below is some things I learned along the way to help in the transition:
- Listen to your people, sometimes being heard can defuse most situations
- When your people do something wrong let them know, do not berate them in public
- Pass on knowledge you have learned
- Be yourself, not who you think the bosses want you to be. Unless you are a trained actor being yourself is the only character you can be.
- When you don’t know something go find the answer don’t fake it your people will know
- Do the right thing in the station and on incidents
- Being a leader means sometimes you have to make tough choices. Discipline is hard to dole out, harder when you have to do it to friends.
- Get out the door quick or your fire will be someone else’s
- Know the capabilities and limitations of the apparatus you ride
- Just because you are an officer, never think you are the smartest person in the room you will set yourself up for embarrassment with that kind of attitude.
As mentioned above, respect is earned over time and it is dictated by your actions. Strive to be the best you can be and instill that philosophy on your people and you will achieve success.