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Reputations of fire departments are viewed by people based from many aspects in which each and every member has a part in. The most commonly viewed position of every fire department is of course the Fire Chief and how he/she reacts under certain circumstances. As with any business or corporation, recruitment and retention of quality personnel is one of the most important parts of managing a successful fire department. Managing a fire department or any organization for that matter…you will see your fair share of challenges. We are seeing more and more excuses being made by those who continue to be the problem, or those that have been the problem.

An easy way of failing in today’s business of the fire service, is to manage or lead from inside the fishbowl. The fishbowl managers are typically those that have their own views and opinions, not allowing the staff to reach outside the confines of their inner circle to have their members assist with administrative or planning functions.

You can take a look at those fire service leaders who are managing their organizations through mediocrity or failure, simply by not allowing others to have their voices or opinions heard. Do you know what happens in organizations that are being managed by the (1) so called leader?

Do you know what happens when that certain individual who continuously micro-manages from a distance, making assumptions by listening to a scanner, dictating to the other officers how to manage while not present, that certain individual who cannot let go of the power trip…feeding off the bugles he/she wears on the collar. This type of leadership…or lack of, is enough to devastate your organization to the point it is over looked by quality people because of your track record.Constants are those aspects that never change. It is unfortunate that in today’s business, this type of management is all too common. Assumptions of changing for the better must be enacted on, not just talked about. Several years of talking about change to a better more functional organization gets old for a lot of people. Having your ideas thrown in the trash by the illicit and uneducated leader will force the good people to run and never look back.

There is so much more to the fire service than your (4) walls. If you are leading from inside the fishbowl…prepare yourself for the failure you have or will establish. By my calculation, it is 2015 and times have changed.

~Jeremy Rebok~

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