News & Media

The best aspects of CFA

By: Patrick O'Brien

  11.00 AM 6 March, 2013

Views: 2501

Experiences in LMR so far this year have caused me to reflect on what I believe to be the three best aspects of CFA: the people, the people and the people.

I think CFA leaders at all levels, as do leaders in all organisations, run a constant risk of taking CFA's people for granted. That doesn't mean that they are always taken for granted, but I think we need to regularly stop and assess our attitude or approach to the team and we can do that by asking ourselves some questions. We might include the following when we reflect on our personal leadership style:

  • Am I so bound up in pursuing my objectives that I have forgotten to consider my personal impact, or that of my actions, on others?
  • Do I actually believe that the views of team members are important and do I go out of my way to gain them? Do I believe that people are of the first importance and that by seeking their input not only do I gain team ownership and a better eventual outcome but that this is a tangible and sincere means of demonstrating my respect for the team?
  • Do I focus on those parts of my job that I'm most comfortable with to the detriment of team members? In other words, do I prefer and emphasise the mechanics to the dynamics of leadership?
  • Is my role so important that I must do it all myself and can't bring myself to delegate any part of that role to others?
  • Do I really believe that, as a leader, I can only achieve anything of worth, or that will be enduring, by myself?
  • Am I really looking after the team? Is my concern what concerns them? Am I helping them to solve problems?

Prompting these thoughts has been a personal reminder of the value every individual brings to the team. Only when we seriously reflect on the extraordinary range of skills and life experiences we can find in every brigade or team in CFA do we have a chance of appreciating each individual. That appreciation will prompt us to value difference and to encourage every member to give his or her best. We are fortunate to have many very highly gifted people in our teams. 

Of course when I refer to gifts I'm using the widest possible definition. We should appreciate the gifts of practicality, experience, wisdom, common sense, mentoring, thinking, doing, encouraging, supporting,  constancy, integrity, courage, commitment, perseverance as much as we do gifts of intelligence, sporting prowess, good looks or energy. We will find all these gifts and more in every team; we simply have to look for them.

Finally, for our own sake and that of the team, let's all celebrate the fact that we are surrounded by gifted people and take the time to acknowledge and thank them for their contributions.


Last Updated: 10 December 2015