As I sit here and try to decide a topic for my first rant, my thoughts lead me toward the topic of Leadership. Having been trained as a leader since 1986, in retrospect what my realization has led me to is there was no way in 1986 that I ready to be a leader. Being trained in the military taking the first class of ,education for Air Force Leaders the NCO Preparatory Course. This was a 2 week course that did not teach me all I needed to know about being a leader. At that time I was confident that leading the Air Forces best resources, its people would be easy.
What I can tell you was if I worked for me back then, I would have kicked my own ass. My leadership style was one of ordering, demanding respect, yelling, writing up folks, not listening to ideas and forgetting where we came from. It took me a lot of years of gaining experience, lost credibility, and no one wanting to work for me. A Chief Master Sargent had to show me the light and the error of my ways.
If we fast forward to today, there seems to be such a lack of leadership training in the EMS career field. We have some great folks that want to leave the truck and help their peers in leading them. One of the biggest is we automatically think that because we are wearing a white shirt we are leaders and need to be respected as such. Recently promoting a supervisor from the field and her first day at work, I asked the question “how does it feel to be a leader” Her answer was typical and well thought out, her response ranged from fear, to excitement, to anxiety. What came next was my response and that really made her chin drop. I told her that she was not yet a leader, and further went on to say you are just a paramedic that is wearing a white shirt and gold badge. Now you have to go out and earn the respect of you peers, workforce and yourself. Since that conversation she has done just that and achieving outstanding results. The success of a leader has to happen everyday. We have to fight everyday to be an overnight success.
So, now for you out there Let me ask you a question, what is the definition of leadership? There are a lot of different ways to define leadership. To me leadership means influence, if we can influence someone everyday we are being successful leaders. Does not matter what position you hold in an organization, set your goals on influencing at least one person a day and your leadership integrity will grow by leaps and bounds. In short leadership is not a position its an action.
Share with the readers how you influenced someone in your day. We will outline our best practices for our career field to share.
Until next time