What is Your Definition of Leadership?

Defining Leadership Fireground Leadership

How often do we discuss leadership issues?  In the fire service you will find yourself pulled into conversations about leadership capabilities on a regular basis.  You can read books, take courses, and study well known leaders but until you decide what type of leader you will be then you cannot move forward.

I believe there are many types of leaders each of which have their own personalities.  These leadership types, or styles, provide the leaders with a direction to move forward.  When you are struggling with finding an identity as a leader you must first ask yourself what your own definition of leadership will be.

Many years ago I heard this definition of leadership, "Leadership is taking someone to a place they normally wouldn't go to by themselves".  That message solidified what came to be my own leadership identity.  We become firefighters to serve others and if you follow a servant style leadership path you will serve other firefighters in order to ultimately provide the citizens you protect with the best service possible.  I have chosen a path in my fire service career to emphasize training other firefighters in order to ultimately serve my community as best I can.  I have to continue to remind myself to focus on this definition of leadership I have chosen.  This definition drives me to perform in the classroom, the training grounds and on the fire scene.

Once you identify your leadership definition you will be able to focus on refining your skills as a leader.  There are many lessons I learn everyday that help guide me to become a better leader.  I constantly analyze other firefighter's leadership styles looking for traits that I gravitate toward.  I can only hope that one day in my fire service career someone else will find a leadership trait of mine that they gravitate toward.