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Leadership Burnout

A quick read if you are feeling the stress and frustrations of being a leader in the volunteer fire/EMS service.

Finding yourself frustrated and losing motivation? It is common and okay. After all, you are serving in a leadership position for free. Additionally, you are surrounded by a bunch of people who could clearly and obviously do a better job than you (just listen to them); yet they refuse to step up to the occasion. You are not alone. There are thousands of others across the country in your same frustrated shoes.

How do you deal with these frustrations?

1. Take some personal time. If you are at the station and nothing is going right and you have exceeded your patience level- leave. Eliminate your exposure. The last thing you need to do is lose your temper unnecessarily on a member or on the public. Excessive frustration and anger can lead to short-sighted decisions both in the station and on calls. Go for a drive, take a walk, exercise, focus on a hobby- go do something safe and healthy that will clear your head.

2. Talk to a trusted advocate/friend. You need to find someone who is in a similar position within either your department or elsewhere that you can trust and who will listen to you vent. Talking a specific situation over with a trusted advocate can lead to identifying a resolution by pulling from their experience. They may not have all the answers, but they can definitely serve as a support mechanism.

3. Enjoy a day at the station, where you simply do not do any office/administrative work. Hang out with your membership, run calls, train, and have fun. Revert to your roots- why you joined the volunteer department, to begin with.

4. Research guidance from trusted sources. Chances are someone has dealt with your current crisis and most likely has a path forward.

5. Realize problems are temporary. They may seem consuming while in the heat of the issue, but it shall pass.

6. Lastly, after taking some time to clear your head and reset- go back and tackle the issue so that it is behind you.

Do not forget why you joined. Do not forget why you stepped up to a leadership position. Your community and your department depend on you!

If you need assistance with crisis management or other pressing issues, contact us today!

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