If there’s one frustration I experience more often than others, it’s when someone says, “My leadership style is ….” Why do so many leaders believe they must follow a particular leadership style or model, when most issues can be addressed by a variety of approaches, or even a combination of them? Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves: “Is my leadership style obsolete?”
Today’s fire service leaders are facing more danger, complexity, and uncertainty. And it’s not slowing down. Whether it’s the increasingly dangerous man-made and natural disasters or the numerous demands and expectations from our communities, our current environment requires a constant state of innovation. To continue to serve our citizens safely and effectively, our leaders must be able to handle anything thrown their way. Leading through this kind of chaos requires the ability to sense and respond to changes with actions that are focused, fast and flexible. There’s only one way to do it: our fire service leaders have to be agile.
The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher. Chinese Proverb
Here’s what agile leaders look like:
- Agile leaders don’t go by the book. They are creative thinkers with a deep sense of purpose. They “get it.”
- Agile leaders are resourceful. They are fast and effective problem solvers that are focused on results and excellent at reshaping plans and priorities when faced with unexpected changes.
- Agile leaders don’t just wait for change, they drive it. They have a high tolerance for ambiguity and are excited by the challenge and the possibility of creating change.
- Agile leaders have a high level of awareness of themselves, others, and the situation. Their senses are working at maximum capacity.
Agile leaders are known for getting the best out of the people they work with. They are the leaders who “figure it out” quickly, effectively, and are not driven by ego.
Question: How many agile leaders do you know? Are you one of them?