FireRescue1: 4 ways for fire chiefs to not get steamrolled by details

By Dennis Rubin

The top official of any agency is the responsibility party for everything that happens in the organization. During World War II President Harry S. Truman put it best: “The buck stops here.”

Truman was taking responsibility for the escalation of the war effort and placing the lives of many of America’s military members in harms way. The president took personal accountability for the decisions that were being made on the battlefield based on his position and authority to engage our nation in combat against a foreign enemy — that’s true leadership.

Make no mistake, the senior official of any organization must take the same approach and be held accountable for the actions (sometimes inactions) of the troops. If the big boss is going to be held accountable for everything occurring within their department, she must pay attention all of the time to all of the details.

That’s a huge responsibility for a fire chief and it is not fair. However, the community expects the top firefighter will lead and the rest of the outfit will follow.

13 Career Crushers

  • Revenge
  • Discrimination, harassment and hazing
  • Inattention to details of the organization
  • Troubled personal life
  • Actions not in align with departmental goals and values
  • Declining health
  • Ignoring technology
  • Illegal activity
  • Irreconcilable differences with the boss
  • Lying
  • Political suicide
  • Political ambition
  • Incompetence

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