What Does A Leader Look Like – To You? 

By Robbie MacCue

EMS Leadership Star of LifeYou can read thousands of books about what a leader is supposed to be or how they should act. We are not advocates of giving you a recipe of “how-to” or “self-improvement” steps. Giving you more information on Leadership is not what’s needed. While information has its place it will not lead to lasting change; leadership has no perfect recipe.

Both good & bad news:
  “Leadership has no perfect recipe” 

You can create who you are as a leader, free of past constraints and begin taking new actions that change your results. First you must ask yourself, “What are the qualities you want the most in your people, your organization and your future?”

Be the leader that others want to follow.

Do you wonder why your people are not stepping up and jumping to help out? Take a moment and write down what your current state of leadership looks like by answering the following questions:

  • Are you frustrated or overwhelmed at times?
  • Do you ever feel like you’re on the edge?
  • Are you alone, doing everything yourself?
  • How do you react when things don’t go as planned?
  • Have you lost your temper or found yourself yelling at times?
  • Do you take responsibility for what happens or do you look for who’s to blame?
  • When others have different opinions than yours are you open to changing your mind?

Once you’ve identified how you’re currently being and reacting to situations, its time to create in your mind or on paper what an image of your future leadership could look like if anything were possible. Ask yourself, “What do you REALLY want?” (Leave out words like “better” or “less of” attributes, as these are all past based or what you don’t want.)

Base your decisions, your actions and your future on that created future. Don’t give up. You will begin to look for these attributes in others and attract them.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” -Gandhi


Warning: Be careful!

 “Remember: Your world is a reflection of who you are.”

If you’re not careful, this could have the opposite effect. It is important that you be mindful of who you are being.  For example, if you doubt yourself, if you try to avoid your worst fears or talk about what you don’t want, that’s what will show up in the world around you. Do you talk behind others backs? Do you gossip? Do you diminish others or criticize?  Whatever your actions are as a leader it will be reflected in those you lead. You have been warned. If you want positive change in your organization, it begins with you. So, go forth & create the future you thought was never possible.

If you get stuck, send us an email or reach out by phone. Leave a comment below and let us know if something in this article resonated with you.

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Robbie MacCue

Robbie is the cofounder of the EMS Leadership Academy, host of the EMS Leadership Summit, and paramedic captain in Albany, NY where he serves in the Special Operations Division for ground rescue, flight, & tactical medicine. He performs international medical flights with North America's largest fixed wing Air Ambulance service. For more than 14 years, Robbie served as President of a non-profit EMS organization advocating for increased funding and raising the bar of excellence. In addition, Robbie is an American Heart Association advocate who is passionate about empowering others to save more lives. He has taught physicians, nurses, and other medical providers Advanced Cardiac Life Support at medical schools and hospitals throughout Manhattan. Robbie has undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University and provides business consulting that combines his love of technology with healthcare.

Robbie MacCue

  • Good morning, I am not really sure where to begin and not sure email is even the correct place. But looking for some guidance. I love EMS. I believe in EMS, but I work within a Critical Access Hospital setting which again I love. For years the EMTs were “volunteer” and the medics were paid full time staff. Recently we changed to paying the EMTs to being “paid on call”. I am the EMS Supervisor and I have an RN Manager above me, then the Director of Nursing. I am constantly told by management that I can’t “require” my EMTs to do to much as they aren’t full time employees (cleaning the rigs, training, etc), yet when a transfer comes up, we are told “you have to go, that’s the job they signed up for”. As a supervisor I feel like that is talking out of both sides of my mouth. Another problem is I am told to constantly told to recruit as we have a high turn around as about 30% of our team is made up of college students from 4 years liberal arts college who leave the community after 3 to 4 years. I have worked with the college leadership to be open to the idea of letting their students work as EMTs for our health system and we have connected these same students with our local community college so they can take the EMT class. My managers didn’t understand why I “wasting my time” meeting with both the 4 year and the community college and then bringing them together so I could then high these students. My managers wanted me working in the ER instead. So how do you lead when those above you don’t understand EMS and have a different objective for you? I have taken the approach to slowly work at things and am gradually working at making changes. But this is starting to take a toll mentally, emotionally and even physically when I know I could leave this organization which overall I love and go work somewhere else for better pay and potential less stress. Reflecting back on your article, I can keep most of those questions in check, but there are times when they all seem to come to a head at the same time. Finding Leadership Academy seems to be a blessing as at least its people who understand! Thought?

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