As leaders of the fire service we must look at opportunities with vision. We must be able to decode the “mess” into “opportunity”. It is paramount that we focus on the concepts that it shouldn’t be this way, but we can make it something else. These are truly hectic times we live in. Times that can challenge even a seasoned leader.
A successful leader must have a clear and well defined vision of where the organization is going. Through outstanding mentors like John Leahy, Harry Carter, Robert Flemming, Daniel B. C. Gardner, Dan Jones, Christopher Naum and many other fire service leaders this same concept of vision; I was taught to see the opportunities in everything you come in contact with, rather than the mess.
Vision is in direct proportion to accomplishment. The more a leader can envision, the more the organization can accomplish. Phoenix Fire Department is the fire service leader it is today because of the vision of a great group of leaders guided by one of the greatest fire service leaders of all time, Alan Brunacini. So much of what the fire service practices today came from the vision that was created by a few leaders. It is important to remember that no vision is too awesome. It is important to remember that you should always strive for the highest possible dream. In doing so it is much better to fall a little short of that vision than to set the vision low and make it. Many changes in the fire service have come from leaders who have set the compass on a course for a vision only to fall short of that true vision but still accomplishing mush more. I am sure that Chief Ralph Jackman of the Vergennes Fire Department over his 50 years has fallen short of several visions, but I honestly know that a lot has been accomplished through having a well defined vision.
I would ask the folks who are sitting around The Kitchen Table, what is your vision and the vision of your department?