Personal Leadership Philosophy at US Fire Services
The way how the leadership philosophy is constructed will certainly affect the way how any organization works. Although it is common to think about politicians as leaders with specific styles, effective leadership is reducible to small collectives, one of which can be a fire department. The paper will be devoted to the transformational type, which seems to be more applicable to my mentality and approach to society. This democratic way of interaction in the team brings a more positive atmosphere by means of inclusivity and tolerance.
Transformational Leadership Theory
The major meaning of the transformational leadership style is the modification of workers’ attitudes and approaches to more appropriate and modern ones. One of the best definitions was given by Alqatawenh (2018): “[transformational leadership is] the leadership style in which leaders inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests for the benefit of the organization” (p. 18). Therefore, there should occur a smooth transition from the initial detection of weaknesses and struggles of each worker to the dynamic change of approach to more efficient.
To accomplish these tasks, the leader should have specific attributes and traits. The leader should be full of energy, passion, and enthusiasm (Anderson, 2017). The reason is that the leaders should increase subordinates’ optimism about the prospects of their work (Alqatawenh, 2018). In these settings, the leader should not be set in a dominant position to criticize all members. Instead, the interactions need to be horizontal to ensure solidarity and trust.
The major features of the transformational leadership style correspond to the life priorities that I consider essential for myself. Firstly, I am definitely an extrovert, so constant communication and verbal feedback are always necessary for me to be an effective leader. Secondly, openness to new knowledge and change is also a great trait for an effective transformational leader. In other words, I am not conservative, which helps me to change the approach to work at the fire department without high discomfort and anxiety. Instead, my major priority is the path to perfection in what I am doing.
Performance in the Workplace
Without the proper understanding of views and principles of subordinates, it is impossible to formulate a strategy for the transformation. Getachew and Zhou (2018) conducted a regression analysis and concluded that “leaders through transformative leadership behavior can improve collective efficacy of employees” (p. 12). Nevertheless, the workers in any place are not homogeneous. There could be someone of old age who cannot radically change their habits. I expect that the collective development will lead to the fact that individuals also inadvertently move to a more effective style.
As for the other side, the collective can expect that their opinion will also be heard and evaluated. There will be no traits of tyranny in my actions, so the workers will always have an opportunity to collectively reject my proposal and introduce their ones. However, the performance will be evaluated by the statistics and mathematical ratings of efficiency, so there will also be a desire from me for rapid development.
My leadership style will focus both on increasing the working efficiency and the satisfaction of subordinates by their position in the collective. On the one hand, there is a desire to increase the efficiency of the fire department through the increase of the level of performance. On the other hand, the motivations, higher job satisfaction, and mental health are also crucial for me as a leader. Without placing myself above colleagues, this path to success and excellence will be very close and mutual.
The first fundamental principle of leading others will be inclusivity and tolerance. My values stand in radical opposition to discrimination, racism, and domination. Thus, my doors will always be open to any kind of criticism and disagreement because such involvement of every member in the decision-making increases the more elaborated self-awareness and motivation. The prohibition of any discrimination in the workplace will create bonds and foster motivation.
The second central principle is the commitment to innovations and creativity. For me, as a leader, the status quo is not an appropriate condition. There someone can find the main paradox of the transformational leadership style. Although transformational leaders are very open and democratic in their behavior, they will always push staff to change and develop in almost any circumstances. In the case of the fire department, transformational leaders will always demand higher speed of preparation for the accidents, the introduction of new technologies, and the study of new working techniques for firefighters.
Behavior of the Leader
The task of being a transformational leader is highly tough in the short-term period, while it will certainly help avoid problems that may occur in a long-term perspective. For the whole time, I need to be highly proactive, confident, attentive to other opinions, and motivated.
There should not be two months in a row that are completely similar. Instead, every determined period I need to propose some ideas for innovation during team discussion in order to hear other opinions and perspectives. At the same time, I need to step back if the team does not agree with my ideas and arguments.
To sum up, this paper argues that the transformational type of leadership is the most suitable for my values, intentions, and desires. It seems that this kind of leadership will be more effective than other ones which demand more control. The main idea is to create an environment that will always welcome innovation and change. The interaction with staff will be based on the mutual respect of different opinions and values. The result will be considered appropriate if it increases productivity and staff satisfaction.
Alqatawenh, A. S. (2018). Transformational leadership style and its relationship with change management. Verslas: teorija ir praktika, 19(1), 17-24.
Anderson, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in education: A review of existing literature. International Social Science Review, 93(1), 4.
Getachew, D. S., & Zhou, E. (2018). The influences of transformational leadership on collective efficacy: The moderating role of perceived organizational support. International Journal of Organizational Innovation, 10(4), 7-15.