As a Chief, it is important to set the overall mission and provide guidance and support to your fireground officers, but it is also important to give them the freedom and autonomy to follow through on the mission in the way that they see fit. By trusting in their abilities and not micromanaging their actions, you can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility, and encourage creativity and innovation. They were promoted for a reason, after all – trust in their skills and judgment to get the job done. Of course, it is important to maintain appropriate oversight and accountability, but by setting a clear mission and giving your team members the freedom and autonomy to follow through, you can create an environment that is conducive to success.
In a perfect world, everyone on a team or in an organization would have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and would know exactly what to do all of the time. They would be able to use their intuitive skills and judgment, using an implicit focus on the overall goals and values of the team or organization, to come up with innovative solutions to problems on their own.
However, in the real world, things are often not so straightforward. There may be times when it is necessary to assign specific tasks or responsibilities to individual team members, either because the task requires a specific set of skills or because it is part of a larger plan that requires coordination and specialization. When assigning specific tasks, it is important to consider the strengths and capabilities of each firefighter, and to communicate clearly the expectations of the job. It is also important to provide support and guidance as needed, and to be open to feedback and suggestions for improvement. By working together and leveraging each other's strengths and expertise, teams can achieve success and continuously improve their performance.
Officers should trust in the abilities and judgment of their firefighters and allow them to do their jobs. It is also important that your firefighters trust you to not order them to do something that they are not capable of or that will endanger them unnecessarily. This can foster a sense of trust and respect within the team. This can lead to increased initiative, collaboration, and productivity, as team members feel more empowered and motivated to take ownership of their work.
Leaders must recognize that not all team members may be equally capable or reliable. In some cases, we may need to give up some of the benefits of initiative in order to ensure that tasks are completed effectively and efficiently. This may involve providing more guidance and oversight to certain team members, or assigning tasks that are better suited to their skills and capabilities. It is important to strike a balance between allowing for flexibility and individual initiative, and maintaining control and coordination. By finding the right balance, leaders can encourage creativity and innovation, while still ensuring that tasks are completed effectively and efficiently.