You know what the problem is here, I don’t have any power! Well I would ask that we slow down and take a look at that and realize that every member of an organization has some form of power. The real issue is do they recognize it and what do they do with it?
In an organization as in life we are all given lots of powers. I have the power to help or hurt. I have the power to love or hate. I can move this organization forward in the direction it is going or I can change the direction or resist.
Using just those few examples I think we can all reflect for a minute and realize that we all have powers that we may not even recognize.
We might have legitimate power from rank that we have achieved. We might have expert power from some skill or expertise that we have that others might not have. We might have some unofficial power that people might have bestowed upon us, meaning that they will follow us and we have the power of influence over others.
Power is like all other things we possess. We must recognize it, respect it and gain control over how we direct it. Will we share some of our expertise with a new member? Will we use our personal power to undermine and submarine the officers and the chief.
The gift of power is a very important thing. This week figure out and summarize what power you have and then make a plan on how you will use it or share it in your organization.
This is a term that gets tossed around the fire service often. It was a term that I used to hate when I was the Coordinator of Firefighter Certification. You know, now that I think of it, I am not real fond of it now either!
The firefighter that passes firefighter I/II certification with a 70% actually got 30% wrong! But still he or she is certified to meeting the minimum required standards.
I understand why we have minimums and i get it, but please never let the minimum be your goal.
When training new members, get them passed where they need to go and let them know that the minimum is the floor, but we should be aiming for the ceiling.
Would you go to, or would you take your family to a doctor who graduated with the minimum credentials? Would you get on a plane with a pilot or co-pilot that just made the minimum?
Lead your people to the top. They can and will get lost on their way but that is our job, to guide them. Don;t get frustrated when they struggle, refocus and redouble your efforts to get them where they need to be.
As senior members, officers and instructors let us always coach our members to a higher level. In fact coach them to the highest level they can achieve……and while you are at it and caring for others……push and test yourself once in a while too!