The following article is a guest post from our friend Mitja at How to Become a Firefighter in USA. His website is all about how to become a firefighter USA, from beginning to the end. You can find one of the best and most comprehensive guides that will set you on the right path of your carer.
Firefighting and leadership are two different ventures. Their diversity extends from the mode of execution to the situation that practitioners in either activities find themselves in. Firefighters are known to handle emergencies while leaders work mostly in calm environments. Firefighting is a skill that requires speedy response. In the event of a fire, people tend to panic and if firefighters do not act fast, property is lost if the fire is not put out in time.
Firefighters withstand smoke and extremely high temperatures with an aim of extinguishing the fire. Leaders withstand criticism, politics, duress and limited resources while they struggle to achieve their targets. Firefighting and leadership are skills that go hand in hand. The following are qualities of a firefighter that are also required in leadership:
Quick Decision making
A firefighter must have the ability to make swift decisions while responding to fire emergencies Some of the swift decisions that a firefighter makes are breaking windows to create space for the firefighting hose to save property from damage. A firefighter might also dash into a room that is on fire to grab a trapped child and to save life. These are decisions that need to be made in split seconds. When it comes to leadership, quick decisions need to be made when the team you are leading needs direction. In business leadership, the leader might decide to stop the production of a loss making product to avoid incurring more losses.
Firefighters are risk takers. They risk their lives while trying to save lives and property. Leaders are also risk takers. They make decisions without knowing the impact. They hope for the best and they put all their effort in a cause that they believe in. If a firefighter makes one mistake, it could cost him his life. If a leader makes one mistake, it could lead to the downfall of the team. Even while aware of these consequences, individuals in
firefighting and leadership still make risky decisions through proper evaluations and guided by past experiences.
Being Different (Going against the Masses)
While people are running away from the firefighters edge closer to the fire as they aim to put it out. Leaders are different from the rest since they make decisions that fit regardless of the wishes of the majority. They become outstanding by doing things differently from the rest. While at times going against the crowd might land them in problems, both firefighters and leaders enjoy the glory of putting out a major fire and achieving a
long awaited goal.
If firefighters fear fire, they cannot get close to it and so they can never put it out. If leaders fear haters and critics, they would only work to impress them and they would fail. Firefighting requires a brave spirit and firefighters are trained on ways of letting go of their fears and surging forwards until they extinguish the fire.
Leaders get their motivation from the goals they have set and they get rid of their fears by doing extraordinary activities with an aim of achieving extraordinary results.