Leadership in Public Safety: Leadership Styles, Tools, and Strategies (Essay Sample)
Leadership involves an individual influencing other individuals and guiding them towards the accomplishment of a common goal or objective as well as developing a vision. It is an essential part of any department or organization, including the public safety department, whose main objective is the protection of the general public. Leaders aim to develop a passion that they can utilize to drive them towards the accomplishment of their long-term goals, follow and fulfill their vision, as well as challenge their status quo.source..
Leadership in Public Safety
Leadership involves an individual influencing other individuals and guiding them towards the accomplishment of a common goal or objective as well as developing a vision. It is an essential part of any department or organization, including the public safety department, whose main objective is the protection of the general public. Leaders aim to develop a passion that they can utilize to drive them towards the accomplishment of their long-term goals, follow and fulfill their vision, as well as challenge their status quo. They focus on inspiration and motivation to influence their employees into committing to their work or organizational roles, which is important if an organization is to attain its goals. The key element of leadership lies in its power of persuasion on human resources and the source of competitive advantage in an organization to obtain the desired outcomes. Effective public safety leadership requires individuals to use effective leadership styles, tools, and strategies that conform to the Franciscan Tradition.
Leadership is a critical factor in ensuring that sharing of information in an organization can be done adequately and to the desired level. Leadership effectiveness is associated with the employee's personality, efforts, skills, and the knowledge level they hold (Cakir and Adiguzel 9). The role of leadership in an organization lies in ensuring that there is excellent organizational performance which is promoted by compensation, a suitable work environment, efficient motivation, and effective communication between the leaders and subordinates (Cakir and Adiguzel 9). Effective leadership enhances community development, thereby influencing the effectiveness of public safety. Additionally, strong leadership enables agencies to be more effective in protecting the general public, which results in attaining the organizational objectives. Moreover, effective leadership gives room for collaboration between the communities and the involved agencies, which is mostly needed when a crisis occurs. Therefore collaboration of leaders with other agencies aids in effective emergency management, which helps protect the general public. Poor performance in the public sector is associated with poor employee attitude, ineffective leadership, and inefficiency. As a result, effective leadership is essential if public safety is to be attained.
Leadership style is one factor that has an impact on fostering the commitment of employees in an organization which contributes to the success and achievement of organizational goals. According to Karacsony, organizational performance is strongly related to the leadership style employed (134). Therefore, effective leadership must use the right leadership style, which helps an organization maintain its desired performance. Moreover, having the appropriate leadership style allows a leader to guide an organization in times of problems and maintain its performance (Karacsony 134). Additionally, an effective leadership style allows the unique integration of employees with the organization to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals or vision. Furthermore, an effective leadership style can encourage creativity and innovation and influence strategic priorities, leading to improved organizational performance. In public safety management, autocratic, transactional, and transformational leadership are mainly of interest.
Transformational leadership is based on the willingness of a leader to help the followers attain their full potential. Transformational leaders guide their employees or followers by expecting and communicating engaging visions, shared values, and common goals. They also lead by example on the desired behavior within an organization. According to Gemeda and Lee, transformational leadership is positively associated with innovative work behavior and employee engagement (7). Moreover, transformational leaders lead by setting an example of the expected work behavior. This leadership style provides empowerment, vision, and commitment, which provides a foundation for trust within an organization. The main elements of transformational leadership include inspirational motivation, idealized influence in attribution and behavior, individualized consideration as well as intellectual stimulation.
The autocratic leadership style involves controlling all vital decisions by a leader without seeking or considering the inputs that employees or group members can contribute towards the given decisions. This leadership style is mostly used when a work decision or situation requires inputs in high knowledge, skill levels, and counter inexperience in the team (Denton 1). This is possible as employees are only required to follow direct instructions given by their respective leaders. As a result, employees can benefit from the skills portrayed by their leaders, which allows productivity replication using the leader's experience and knowledge, specifically when there is a lack of adequate time to learn the skills needed to complete a given project.
Moreover, this leadership style allows the reduction of the time needed in decision making, which in turn helps cut down on employee stress as well as fostering overall efficiency. This type of leadership provides employees with a work environment that contains explicit expectations, which is a means of working that most employees prefer. As a result, the final decision lies entirely on the leader of the organization, which cuts down on employee stress, especially when accidents or a crisis are involved. This follows the fact that autocratic leadership is associated with fewer administration levels that need to be constantly informed and give feedback on every decision since all the arrangements are overseen by one person (Sfantou et al. 2). Thus, quicker or faster decision-making is achieved which is a quality needed in public safety management.
Additionally, autocratic leadership enhances overall organizational communication as it eliminates the need to communicate across all the levels of management in an organization. As a result, when a command is given by the person in charge of the organization, the information is directly communicated to the employees without losing the original message, improving overall communication. Furthermore, this type of leadership results in productivity improvement as autocratic leaders can quickly spread information in the entire organization leading to fewer productivity delays which can effectively enhance public safety. Moreover, an autocratic type of leadership ensures that crisis scenarios are effectively handled (Denton 1). They are able to achieve this as they do not depend on any other party to solve an arising issue, especially when it is short-term.
Transactional leadership is a style of leadership where the relationship between managers and their subordinates is considered a transaction or is based on mutual benefit. Additionally, the transactional leadership style works on the grounds of rewards and consequences to ensure that workers work towards maximum job performance (Mehrad et al. 69). Maximum performance is a trait that is very beneficial to public safety. The key role of transactional leaders is ensuring that their employees are committed to the same aim or objective and foster motivation by providing reward and benefits schemes. These types of leaders commit to defining the given task or project, provide a structure on how to complete the task, display concern for the employees, clarify workers' responsibilities, as well as attend to the group and personal needs and motivation.
Moreover, transactional leadership is easy to apply and aids in attaining efficient results in public safety by ensuring
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