“MAGIC” MANAGEMENT MOMENTS
“Magic management moments” are those special times when rational thought vanishes and is replaced with incomprehensible decision making. They are the product of a serious affliction that grips many managers in this country, and the fire service is not immune. This affliction is marked by a temporary or permanent loss of common sense, disrespect for people in general, and an inability to remember organizational goals.
In keeping with our management theme for this issue, following are a few observations that can help you avoid this management disease and a dubious place in the “magic management moments scrapbook.”
Lack of money for personnel, training, and equipment is 20 percent of the fire service problem. Nonaggressive, unimaginative, noninnovative, uninspired management accounts for the rest of the problem.
Remember what happened to Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Rang. Dinosaur management will not survive into the 21st century.
It is okay to fail. It is a sin not to try
A great fire service runs on great line personnel supported and nurtured by great managers.
The jump from the trenches to fire service executive is a 30-foot jump down into the snake pit.
No one is born a great manager or leader. Great leaders learn from their own experiences and those of others and develop that knowledge into a way of life, a way of leadership.
Infective management is as easy as it looks.
Life is not an endless struggle; it is a series of opportunities.
If a course of action makes common sense, is good for the organizational goals, and doesn’t cause an inordinate amount of pain for people, then you’re on the right track.
Chiefs who hide in the office when the stuff hits the fan are sheep in wo/ies’ clothing.
Management by walking around will put blisters on your feel but a smile on your face.
Great managers are those who motivate, encourage, stand up for their members and for what is right, show their best side during a crisis, provide a climate of employee ownership of the service provided, respect people, and communicate effectively with members.
To take is human, to give sublime.
A great manager is a generalist with an open mind, an open ear, and an open heart—not an open mouth.
Chief Parasite must be flicked off the organizational body before he gets under its skin.
Ingenuity is not a mysterious skill. Ingenuity is being persistent enough to find a solution to a problem after everyone else has given it up as impossible.
Fire service managers without vision one day will be leaders of an organization of rag men who mop up after the sprinklers put out the fire.
Change means never having to say you’re dead.
C,ustomer service is not a concept exclusive to department stores.
Effective managers see the world in technicolor.
The lawsuit specter casts the biggest shadows on the unprepared and uneducated.
The guy in the trenches will help you accomplish what you want to accomplish, but only if you help him accomplish what he wants to accomplish.
Surround yourself with brilliant people.
Managers are a dime a dozen. Leaders are few and far between.
Leaders get others to do without question that which the ordinary manager accomplishes with trickery and heavyhandedness.
Politics is as dirty as you make it.
Never sacrifice your honesty and integrity.
Discipline in private.
A great manager knows when to act and when to let things take their course.
Never overestimate your value to the organization. Nobody is indispensable.
Distill your complex operations into a simple, communicable mission and encourage members to adopt it in every action or task they perform.
Lack of innovation and personal prejudice are closely linked.
Don’t be a fence-straddler; you’ll fall and hurt yourself in the wrong place.
Chief Misanthrope has no business being a fire service manager.
A white helmet on the foreground is as conspicuous as a horse in a cow pasture. Conduct yourself accordingly.
Rules are not made to be broken. But ovenegulation leads to broken-spirited membership.
One person cannot possibly know everything, particularly in this era of endless information. Delegate, form an internal information network, and learn from your team.
Interagency response is not a dirty concept. You cannot operate in a vacuum at large-scale incidents.