Leadership

DON’T LET THE TAIL WAG THE DOG

Issue 10 and Volume 156.

BY RICHARD B. GASAWAY Recently, I talked to a fel- low volunteer fire chief from another state who told me how overwhelmed he felt as fire chief. As the conversation progressed, I pressed him for the reasons he was feeling so inundated. He explained that he’s becoming so frustrated because no matter what problem someone has at the fire station, that person always calls him. It was affecting him physically and mentally, and affecting the personal relationships that are very important in his life. I’ve known this chief for many years. He is very dedicated and has immense pride in his department. He carries a pager and has instructed his firefighters to page him when they need to. Nothing wrong with that, except when the tail starts to wag the dog. Here’s what I mean. They’re paging the chief for everything! The engine’s low on oil. The ladder has a…

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