Leadership, Officer Development

Leadership Fundamentals: Anyone Can Lead

Issue 7 and Volume 172.

By Christopher Sobieski When I was a young firefighter, I was headstrong and confident and considered by most to be a pain in the butt. I knew what I wanted, what was certain, and what was right. I saw everything in terms of right and wrong and black and white. Filled with blind certainty, I was sure of what I wanted from my leaders and was definite about what leaders “do.” At the time, my departmental administration did not measure up to my yardstick. When I could not reconcile my ideals of leadership with how I was being led, I became disillusioned and bitter. I started looking to other departments for employment. I viewed the administration as lacking in “leadership.” I made an all-too-common mistake in my outlook, one that is pervasive in the culture of the fire service: believing that leadership is an extrinsic principle applied to me. What…

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