Friday, April 10, 2015

Why Would Anyone Follow You?

"People will not believe the message if they
 don't believe in the messenger." - Barry Posner

Are you leading or on a walk? In "Why Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership," Barry Posner discusses the qualities a leader must possess for followers to follower. If you don't possess them and you are "leading" others, you are probably just out for a walk because no one is following you!

Check out what Leading in the Wildland Fire Service has to say that is similar to Posner:

  • Leaders honestly appraise their own strengths and weaknesses. (p. 59)
  • Our followers assess our character every day; they know if we are open and honest; they see if we are indecisive, lazy or selfish. (p. 63)
  • Our command philosophy is based on the understanding that competent subordinate leaders who are at the scene of action understand the current situation better than does a senior commander some distance removed. Actions are coordinated. (p. 15)
  • Much of the work in the wildland fire service is technical. In demonstrating technical proficiency, fire leaders adhere to professional standard operating procedures, following established best practices. (p. 25)
  • Competent leaders develop plans to accomplish given objectives and communicate plans throughout the chain of command. Leaders exercise good judgment to ensure that the plan matches the objectives, employing people, equipment, and time wisely. (p. 26)
  • When the mission takes our people into harm's way, fire leaders redeem their people's trust by looking out for their well being: doing our best to make decisions hat appropriately balance risk and potential gain, being watchful for unfolding conditions that may jeopardize their safety, and being present to share the risks and hardships. (p. 46)
  • Leaders in the wildland fire service chose to reach beyond the challenges of learning the craft of firefighting by stepping forward to lead people in complex and dangerous environments. Fire leaders trade the indulgences of complacency, second-guessing, and fault-finding for the responsibilities of bringing order out of chaos, improving our people, and building our organizations. (p. 67)
  • Wildland fire leaders inspire by being committed leaders and avid pupils of the art of leadership. (p. 9)
  • Leaders inspire, guide, and support their subordinates, gaining their commitment to the vision and mission and encouraging them, within established limits, to perform creatively. (p. 9)
  • Wildland fire leaders inspire confidence among team members by demonstrating a strong and effective command presence. (p. 20)
Student for Life
  • We accept the responsibility of making ourselves the best leaders that we can be, continuously embracing opportunities to learn the art of leadership through formal training, field experience, and self development. The best leaders are life-long students of leadership. (p. 60)
  • Wildland fire leaders demonstrate moral courage by adhering to high ethical standards and choosing the difficult right over the easy wrong. We avoid ethical dilemmas by directing team members to operate in ways that are consistent with our professional standards and by directing them only to actions they can achieve ethically. (p. 63)
  • Leaders of people act to develop credibility as leaders: placing the team ahead of themselves, demonstrating trustworthiness, mastering essential technical skills, and instilling the values of the organization in their teams. (p. 21)

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