Thursday, July 22, 2010

Leaders We Would Like to Meet

Throughout my years in leadership development, I have had the opportunity to hear many a notable leader speak. This past year I had the privilege of hearing former New York mayor, Rudolph (Rudy) Giuliani, speak to a crowd of about 10,000 people about leadership. Giuliani firmly believes that leaders are readers and writers. Our Professional Reading Program stresses a similar message, "Read to a student of fire."

Ironically, a former member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee had given me a copy of Giuliani's autobiography titled "Leadership" for the leadership library that has taken hold in my office. I hadn't found the time to read it, but pulled it out after my recent blog post featuring the former mayor. I found today's topic in a quote from Giuliani's preface to "Leadership."

"All leaders are influenced by those they admire. Reading about them and studying their development inevitably allows an aspiring leader to grow his own leadership traits. If he's lucky, he'll be able to learn from leaders in his own life--ask them questions, observe them in private, determine which of that leader's methods work well and would complement his own burgeoning style."

This quote speaks so true of our Leaders We Would Like to Meet feature in the Leadership Toolbox. This tool provides a collection of "interviews recognizing those that have spent their career providing exemplary leadership to firefighters and capturing their lessons for future leaders."

Fire leaders have a duty to develop their subordinates for the future. Think about those exemplary leaders who were a part of your success. Do they meet the guidelines for a Leaders We Would Like to Meet spotlight? If they do, take a moment to sit down with them and capture their lessons for future leaders.

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