Effective administration requires two skills: management and leadership. Management ensures that the organization is prepared and able to accomplish its goals by establishing that sufficient personnel and equipment are available for the organization to perform its duties. Leadership can be observed when trained personnel safely and efficiently complete their mission using the resources provided by the organization.
After reading Chapter 2 in your textbook as well as the supplemental reading, Leaders from the Pack, write a post that answers the following:
1. How does good management and leadership skills make an administrator effective?
2. What professional qualifications should an administrator hold?
To have effective administration, officers must use a combination of management and leadership. Chapter 2 defines management as ensuring that a department or organization is able and prepared to establish resources that are available for the department organization to accomplish its goals and perform its duties. Leadership is when officers have trained personnel who can carry out missions and tasks safely and efficiently. Both these skills, when used correctly, can promote change within the community and organization. As a manager, you act as a caretaker, ensuring that your department has all the necessities to carry out tasks. As a leader, you act as a risk taker and visionary to steer the organization on a path to success and future development and will do what needs to be done to get it there. Management and leadership is not the only requirement to be effective, one has to build up credentials to gain credibility with the community, peers, staff, and power elites.
As a chief officer, there are four basic management functions: planning, organizing, directing and controlling. Skills chief officers should hone in on to manage and lead the organization are human, conceptual, and technical skills. When stepping into a management and leadership role, the officer has certain powers that can lead the organization in a positive or negative way. Referent, knowledge, expert, and legitimate power can affect the department positively because of the experience of how much the officer knows and motivates its people to pursue knowledge and skills, as well as, reward for a job well done. Coercive power can negatively impact the department by using punishment. All must be used depending on the situation.
There are three competencies for a fire/EMS administrator should hold: training, experience, and education. A minimum of three years experience as a firefighter and fire company officer, certification as a Fire Officer III or IV, training and certification as a Fire Instructor and Firefighter II, and a degree from an accredited college or university. The level of a college degree depends on the size of the department.
Fleming, R. S. (2002). Leaders from the pack. Fire Chief, 46(2), 36-40. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/216125593?accountid=8289
Smeby, L. C. (2014). Fire and emergency services administration management and leadership practices (2nd ed.). Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
An effective administrator will possess good management skills that will enable them to organize the unit to be prepared and capable in accomplishing or exceeding all set goals with the appropriate people and equipment. Having these skills will allow the administrator to oversee purchases and contracted services without waste or disruption to the operation, while keeping in line with the political organization’s budgetary constraints.
An effective administrator will also display and act with good leadership skills that will enable the leader to develop a well-trained team to perform its duties safely and complete the various assigned duties with the resources made available by the parent organization. Being able to lead people in an operation, as opposed to simply dictating actions, will make and build a more cohesive team as all involved will willingly perform their duties, quite often above what is asked of them. Presenting as an effective leader at lower and intermediate levels will also give senior leadership the impression that the individual may be ready for more challenges that can be assigned through promotions.
The professional qualifications of an administrator should include three areas of competency: training, experience and education (Smeby, 2014). Knowing how to participate in and conduct training is crucial to the development of team members as well as oneself. Having experienced the subjects you are training on and leading in gives the administrator insight on how things actually work and progress in the real world. Reading the instructions and data sheets on a piece of equipment in front of a class is effective, but actually using the equipment by operating it and allowing the class to observe this operation first hand is a much stronger learning experience. An educated leader will have a broader understanding on the operation, most often having been exposed to subjects and ideas not always directly present in the operation, yet still applicable in some situations.
Smeby, L. Charles, Fire and Emergency Services Administration, 2ndEd., Burlington, MA, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2014