5 significant risks to your development as a fire service leader

Don’t let your professional network, or yourself derail your career path: Examine these five perspectives to map out your path to being a great leader

By Bruce Moeller, Ph.D.

To lead successfully, you need a comprehensive perspective on the people in your professional world – those around you. And within this professional world, there are sometimes risks to your professional development. Identify the five types of influence on your path and how to deal with them.


This group consists of the current leaders in your organization, especially your boss and your boss’s boss. One of my favorite quotes is, “first-class people hire first class people; and second-class people hire third-class people.” Hopefully you work for a first-class leader. If you do, life will be good. You will have a mentor who helps develop your talents and offers guidance when difficulties arise.

However, in anybody’s career, there are times when you must suffer working for a second-class individual. When you find yourself in this situation, there are two significant risks. First, the second-class boss will try to get you to do things which you believe are wrong or unethical. The second is that you will make sure everyone else knows about your dissatisfaction. Both are wrong!

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