Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Power of Unity

Unity of Effort (taken from Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, pp). 15-16.

Our leaders subscribe to unity of effort as a second key component our command philosophy. In a high-risk environment, mixed messages or countermanding directives add to the potential for friction, danger, and uncertainty.

Many times at all levels of the wildland fire service, leaders find themselves in gray areas where jurisdictional lines blur and overlap. No matter the challenges at hand, fire leaders work together to find common ground and act in the best interests of those responding to the incident, the public, and our natural resources.

In these situations, leaders must employ multiple leadership skills to influence decisions, forge effective relationships, facilitate cooperative efforts, and ensure that objectives are achieved.

The longer it takes to develop a unified effort, the greater the vacuum of leadership. Delays increase confusion, which in turn magnify the risk to our people and increase the likelihood that people will take unproductive or independent action without understanding the larger intent.

A unified leadership team sends a powerful message: when all leaders follow the same priorities and reinforce leader’s intent through consistent actions and words, our people develop a strong sense of trust for their leaders. It dispels the propensity to second-guess command decisions as subordinates recognize that the leadership team moves as one and is solidly in charge.

No comments: