You as a human being can only take so much abuse or ineptitude from leadership (or lack thereof), before members of the organization begin to look elsewhere. It is very disturbing to work in a fire department that is lonely. You are probably asking yourself, what is he talking about "lonely". Lonely fire departments lack quality leadership who show care for their members and the organization. As with any organization, you do not need to hold a title or position to be a leader, but you can be limited by your inept leaders to provide leadership.
Good leaders author and implement rules and regulations for standard operating procedures, simply to eliminate or reduce "chaos". It is important for any leader to follow policy and procedure, after all...it is 1 organization. When the members see you following the rules, they will do the same.
When leaders run away from day to day occurrences and problems, their actions will set the stride for the department they are leading. When the team continues to take a back seat in your priorities, the team will set you aside in hopes you fail.
When the actions of leadership revolve around placing issues within the organization "on the bottom of the pile", the organization begins to become lonely.
BUT...you can make a comeback to revitalize the lonely fire department. It really is easy...but you need to wake up, look at yourself in the mirror, and say "I have been doing the wrong thing, and its time to fix it". You do not have to manage your fire department the way your buddy manages his fire department across town. Your team will have more respect for you for doing what is right vs. doing what someone else is doing.
Revitalize that lonely organization by:
1. Putting your team first!
2. Treating everyone with respect as an individual and key player!
3. Visiting with your team. If you have multiple stations, make your rounds!
4. Executing decisions in a timely manner. No firefighter wants to play the waiting game!
5. Training with your team!
6. Helping each and every member excel in their career!
7. Following the rules you implemented!
8. Being honest about what's going on in the organization!
9. Fighting for what is right!
10. Getting every member involved!
Picking up the pieces from "what once was" is very difficult! I have witnessed first hand what it takes to revitalize an organization who has be placed on the bottom of the priority list. As leaders, remember that we taken an oath of office to do a job! So...today I challenge you to do your job as a leader, making a positive impact on your organization!