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What advice would you give a new chief officer? WRONG answers only

“Change everything you can right away” and other bad advice for new leaders


By FireRescue1 Staff

We publish a variety of leadership-focused content, and most of it centers on best practices in leadership or solid advice based on career experience. But what about those “what NOT to do” lessons learned or guidance for how to not lose your members’ respect?

We asked the FireRescue1 community “What advice would you give a new chief officer? WRONG answers only.” Spot any themes among the responses?

  • “Make everything about you; and gatekeep training and info from your team so you look amazing.”
  • “Remind everyone that you’re the chief.”
  • “Don’t worry. Everyone will love you for all the things you do for them.”
  • “The annual training, vehicle, equipment and staffing budget will always work out so don’t stress, and let one of the probies deal with it. While you’re at it, let them deal with shift rotas and annual leave allocation, seeing as how it’s so easy.”
  • “Change everything you can right away.”
  • “Completely trust city hall…they know everything. Just ask them.”
  • “Bully young firefighters. Do everything you can to make them quit. Fast-track unmotivated members doing enough to get by and demoralize people who work to get ahead.”
  • “Make sure you remind everyone who is in charge at every moment you can.”
  • “NEVER admit that you’ve made a mistake.”
  • “Lie, cheat and brown nose your way to get promoted. Blow out the candles of the honest, hardworking firefighters to make your candle look brighter.”
  • “Always pass the blame!”

We rounded up the top five answers below; which one takes the cake as the ultimate bad advice for chief officers? Upvote your favorite and add your own contribution at the bottom of the article.

Fill out the form below to share your “wrong answers.”