ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP 8
Fireis one of the major risks that affect the existence of anorganization because it may destroy a better part of an organizationresulting in unexpected losses. Thus, the leadership of anorganization should be keen enough in the fight against fire. Leadersshould be in the front line in instituting risk management effortsthat support the fighting against fire instituting situationalleadership can be key to fighting fire (Thiel,& Jennings, 2012).To attain a successful organizational leadership, there is a need tocomprehend the worldview of others as well as self-worldview. Again,leaders should be in a position to capitalize on the strengths of theemployees and manage around their weaknesses. Ethics are also amongthe major components of organizational leadership that allow theleaders to balance truth and loyalty, among others. Furthermore,communication and leadership are also among the essential componentsof a successful organizational leadership (Lok& Crawford, 2004).This paper will look at the essentials of leadership and management,and its components in the emergency and fire services, which make itpossible for leaders to be in a position to deal with organizationalrisks such as fire.
Organizationleadership is believed to be one of the keys to successful companies.Most researchers have put more emphasis on the importance oforganizational leadership as the fundamental part of success desiredby firms, and more so, the industries that are dynamic and global.For instance, fire and emergency services is one of the industriesexperiencing tremendous growth and complexity thus, it becomes morechallenging to maintain their constant competitiveness (Chathoth& Olsen, 2002).Therefore, for a firm to be able to sustain and manage the changesthat occur daily and to overcome daily risks such as fire, a strongorganizational leadership is a major component, which is the role offire departments.
Asmentioned above, organizational leadership consists of five essentialcomponents that make it complete and successful. These are thecomponents that leaders in fire departments should possess. Thecomponents are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Worldviewis a composite of different images created in the various lensesthrough which individuals view the world. In an organizationalleadership, understanding the worldview of others as well asself-worldview is crucial. It includes all that an individualbelieves about the world both tangible and the intangible, personalidentity, political stance and religious viewpoint of a person (Lok& Crawford, 2004).
Successfulleadership is bound to capitalize on the strengths of the individualsand try to manage on their weaknesses. Strength is not necessarilythe ability to do things, but rather when a person fathoms theability acquired and does it happily, repeatedly, and successfully.Power comes because of a combination of three factors, which areskills, talents, and knowledge (Lok& Crawford, 2004).
Ethicsis important when it comes to the ability of the leaders to approacha certain problem. It is not an inoculation or a compromise, but ithelps the leaders to be able to balance truth and loyalty,individuals and communities and also justice and mercy (Yukl,2002). Effectiveleaders can use ethics to find a hidden alternative in ethicallyquestionable situations and allow them to navigate not only the rightversus wrong, but also the right versus right.
Communicationis a tool used by the individuals to interface with one another, withgroups and the rest of the world. An effective communication requiresa real comprehension of the person`s assumptions, expectations,values, and beliefs. For leaders to be able to focus on areas ofagreement, overlook the differences, listen, and hear the message ofothers effectively, they ought to understand individuals worldviewtogether with their assumptions, beliefs, expectations and values.
Leadersshould be able to rise above the natural fear of rejection and leadby example of adding value to the organization. Leaders are inpossession of strategic thinking, ability to understand and carry outthe vision of a fire department. Leadership is made up of fourcrucial cornerstones, which includes honesty or truth telling,promise keeping, fairness, and respect for individuals (Engelbrecht,2002).
Effectiveleadership and successful management are significant to the successof fire and emergency services. Deficiency in leadership andmanagement is the cause of most adverse outcomes and failures forthese organizations. All the same leadership and management arecritical in the emergency scene in case of fire outbreak, but theyare equally important and more challenging when it comes to dailyactivities in department operations. This indicates that fire andemergency service leaders should be at their best in complexemergencies, despite the ongoing organizational challenges that arefacing these services, which are real and dynamic.
Accordingto Thiel& Jennings (2012),the complexity of the challenges in emergency and fire department haslead to the constraints of the resources available even for theessential government services leading to the massive downturn in thenational economy. Additionally public and media are on their toesdemanding to know why the adverse failures are experienced daily inpublic safety organizations. This poses a greater challenge to fireand emergency services thus leadership and management are significantto know how the organizations will fare on in future.
Forthe fire and emergency department to be successful, satisfyinginternal stakeholders, community, and the government supervisionstructure is required. Therefore, the fire chief is faced with thechallenge of achieving the needed success, which is defined, in theorganization, the government, and the community as a whole.Historically, fire and emergency service leaders are thought to beprimarily interested in fire suppression and lack proper systems andprecise planning as well as professionalism, education and policyskills needed for them to be public sector leaders. These criticismshave led to reflection on leadership and managerial deficiency in thepreparation of fire and emergency service administrators. Traditionalfire services had an approach of ‘how to`, but, for now, leadersare called upon to focus on "why, where, and when?" whilemanagers deal with ‘how` in this case. The future of fire andemergency services solely depends on the leadership and managementand how well they will respond to emergencies beyond their ability.
Essentialsleadership and management concepts for fire and emergency services
Formanagers to be wholly effective on the fresh fire ground, and in thecurrent organizational environment, they must employ two crucialcentral concepts, which are objectivity and control(Thiel, & Jennings, 2012).Objectivity means that they should do things right, direct with adegree of skills and keep compliant while treating with care. Thechallenge comes in when everyone has a different perception of whatis right and how it will affect them, and that is where objectivitybecomes vital for managers. Being objective is not necessarily beinghard or harsh but the manager should be able to use all the availableresources, use people`s strengths, and abilities to archive thecurrent goals without damaging the long-term relationship that willbe needed to achieve future goals. The concept of control is equallyimportant to a manager because it ensures that all activities worktowards supporting the overall objectives. However, managers shouldbe cautious to manage appropriately and increasing the control andreducing as per the circumstances.
Justas objectivity and control are essential to the manager, the conceptof subjectivity and influence should be equally important to theleader. Subjectivity is the ability of the leader to use personalknowledge and experience to form a course of action to thecircumstances that appears to be abnormal. Specific rules of a leaderare always unwritten. Thus, the manager is expected to apply what heor she knows to do what is right. The concept of influence demandsthat once the leader has taken a course of action, all other peopleshould follow the course(Thiel, & Jennings, 2012).The leader should be able to convince the followers that the courseof action will be beneficial not only to the company but also totheir individual needs. For a leader to be able to achieve this, heor she should be able to use two human tendencies that are conformityand obedience.
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Thiel,A. K., & Jennings, C. R. (Eds.). (2012). Managingfire and emergency services.International City/County Management Association.
Yukl,G. A. (2002). Leadershipin Organizations.New York: Pearson Education.