Guiding Principles

Recently I had an interesting discussion with a new member of our team where he asked for some definition of parameters related to his new job. That got me to thinking – the best way I can provide that is by sharing those core beliefs that hold to when faced with decisions.So I did. We had an interesting conversation about the philosophy of leadership intent and guiding principles.

The whole idea behind leadership intent is simple, and ties back to the idea that one should hire the best people and let them do what they’re best at doing with minimal interference. In order for that to be effective it’s incumbent upon the leader to clearly indicate intent-  what we’re trying to accomplish. Then you let the experts you hired do their jobs. The guiding principles become the rules of engagement, if you will. So here are mine:

  • We’re an emergency management organization that writes plans when we’re not managing emergencies, not the other way around.
  • Community over kits, every time.
  • Use common sense and apply the test of reasonableness
  • Relationships are key to most everything
  • Integrity and character count
  • Listen, don’t just hear, but listen
  • Everybody matters

I’m still working on refining them, but it was an interesting experience to think through them and actually write down those things that really matter to me. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.


About sfdemrob

Director of Emergency Services with a single mission: make the idea of community resiliency synonymous with San Francisco.

Posted on July 29, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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