Chief Ford’s Round-Up

If you haven’t had a chance to read Fire Chief Jason Ford’s words of wisdom, check it out here.

I can’t help but think how lucky I have been to work for these great leaders of people.  Also, putting it all in one place will help others bypass years of trial and error, while learning how to manage their own firehouse.

Let’s take a look at what Chief Ford has to say.  His top three items to be a successful leader are:

  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Professionalism

Communication is so important.  Imagine if your boss told you to mail a package but didn’t tell you where it needed to go.  How could you ever get it there?  How could you accomplish the task?  You must communicate the total task.  Further, if your people don’t know what’s going on, how will they have any “buy-in” for your project, task, or goal?  You must keep your people informed.  Take time to explain the purpose or culture you are trying to build.  So often, managers will say “Go do that!” and want people to blindly follow them.  But without “buy-in,” there is very little incentive for your employees to do so.  Unless, you have trust.

Chief Ford says that trust is another vital part of being a good leader of people.  Trust works both ways.  Most importantly, you must trust your employees.  He says “In most cases you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.”

Lastly, he says that professionalism is important.  I remember working for Chief Ford.  He would sometimes step out in the evening, while we were playing out guitars, stand to the side and listen, give a couple words of encouragement, and then go back in to his office.  At first, I wondered why he didn’t “hang-out” a little more.  But I realized that he needed to maintain a certain level of separation from us for concern that we wouldn’t see him in a professional manner.  This is important.  Now, I’m not saying to stay uninvolved.  I’m simply stating that you should monitor your appearance, demeanor, and actions so that you display a professional vision to your employees.

That’s it for the round-up of Chief Jason Ford’s comments.

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