Leadership Lessons

In all circumstances, leaders should always be aware of uncertainties especially in the current times which have largely been marred and dominated by significant instances of improbabilities. In the current times, disasters can strike at any time and often without warning (Clinton, 2017). In the event of such incidents, numerous public institutions suffer significantly due to the ensuing aftermaths. Some of the probable crisis may emanate from power outages, domestic terrorism, white collar crimes, and cyber attacks among others. While most leaders have various crisis plans at their disposal to tackle probable crises, it is evident that most of them have not yet been tested. In some cases, the existing plans are inadequate.

In other contexts, crises embody both opportunities and threats for different leaders. While some leadership approaches can be used to manage crisis situations effectively, other approaches may mar the situation even further. An effective crisis leadership approach will play significant roles in attempting to determine the challenges faced by leaders in various phases of the crisis lifecycle. This should last from the moment the leaders learn about the crisis to the critical decision-making phase and the tumultuous period of the crisis (Barling, 2014). The essay attempts to review the week 3 assignment which played a role or two in locating a major incident concerning multi-agency emergency management (the 9/11 attack to be precise).

Summary: event and response by police and fire agencies

The event here refers to the September 11th, 2001 terrorism on the World Trade Center which resulted in death and significant human casualties. The attack saw the destruction of properties worth billions of dollars including the World Trade Center tower itself. The terrorist attack presented some ambush which caught a significant segment of the New Yorkers by surprise so that it unleashed widespread confusion and fear among the residents. The incident saw a significant deployment of the police and the fire agencies as a strategy for reconciling the situation. While the police were charged with maintaining law and order, the firefighting department played various roles in restoring normalcy to the situation. The police helped to restore law and order by closing access locations where necessary. This helped in the securing of the scene to streamline the rescue missions. While the police were involved in the restoration of law and order, they also played a significant part in the evacuation of casualties and people who were stranded in and around the premises. The firefighters helped in putting off the raging fire from the World Trade Center tower. The firefighters were also charged with the responsibility of evacuating people from the building.

Structured command

In relation to the incident, the conventional command structure which is nationally acclaimed and accepted was integrated into the policy, the emergency services, as well as other partner services, was also an element in the structured command. In this case, the command structure was based on the gold, silver, bronze (GSB) command arrangement. Consideration was directed towards establishing a supporting chain of command for the emergency response unit as well as the police response which was underpinned by lucidly defined command protocols and included all of the elements of the GSB command. The command structure also comprised of the basic command unit police officers and staff, partner urgency as well as the central government machinery. Here, the command structure was articulated concisely to address the situation amicably. Briefing notes were utilized where appropriate. This also included flowcharts for depicting the structure of the incidents to increase the ease with which the situation could be handled.

How leaders approach and deal with the media

In the event of a crisis, leaders are likely to address multiple press conferences as a way of providing information as well as the way forward concerning the incident. Leaders may deal with media before and after crisis through the provision of information to minimize the chances of speculation and erroneous information to the public. Also, leaders may deal with the media in times of crisis through the demonstration of passion and compassion for the affected people. Quick response is also another way through which leaders deal with the media in times of crisis. This is usually done as a way of controlling the public insight regarding the manner in which the crisis is being handled.

Emergency Management Leadership Theories

Some emergency management theories apply to the 9/11 attack. One of the emergency management leadership theories includes the situational leadership theory. Just like in the scenario, most of the leaders who identify themselves with this style of leadership will often want to spot the demands of the current situation and then adjust their style to fit effectively. Such leaders often have to alter some or all of their variables to meet their objectives effectively. In this case, the variables may entail the leader’s organization abilities, demands, peers and supervisors among others. Another type of leadership theory that is related to the theory is the charismatic leadership theory. This type of leadership theory in the 9/11 context can be described by three traits which include empathy, vision and the general empowerment. While this type of leadership is a significant tool for influencing followers and the general outcomes of incidents, a good number of researchers often associate it with negative influences if the leader’s intentions are self-aggrandizing, non-egalitarian, and exploitative. Another type of leadership theory that is relevant to the 9/11 incident is the transformational leadership. This can largely be evidenced by the numerous instances of innovativeness and the growing concern of the quality of life. Transformational leaders often achieve their goals by influencing their followers to focus towards creating newer and greater change.

How leadership deals with the community  

The emergency management incident process is often concerned with planning as one of the ways of guaranteeing community wellness. One of the ways through which leadership deals with the community in the event of an emergency management incident process is through addressing all risks which are likely to affect the community negatively. This is often done through events such as the community hazard-vulnerability assessment as an approach to identifying probable environmental effects which may harm the community. Another way through which leadership deals with the community is through the provision of evaluation and training of the emergency response organization. Mostly, this includes the involvement of the population at risk in the planning process. Here, leaders are responsible for educating the population on the probability of an incident. The leaders also inform the community on what the emergency organizations can accomplish and cannot accomplish for them.

Emergency management training

One thing about the 9/11 attack is that it came as a surprise to the inhabitants of the New York City. If the administration had ample time to conduct emergency management training, there would have been a significant boost in the overall emergency management approach. The emergency management training would have provided a platform to base pre-impact planning on precise assumptions in terms of threats, conventional human behaviors concerning the disaster, and the probable support from external bodies (state, federal organizations and so on). Additionally, had there been emergency management approach, there would be a chance to help identify the most suited emergency response approach that could wholesomely be used to address the situation in a fairly effective manner. Also, if there were a consideration for emergency management training, there would have been adequate consideration for assessment of emergency response in multiple levels such as team, individual, community and the pertinent departments.

Ethical challenges

Some of the ethical challenges that emerged as a result of the 9/11 attack included the process of determination of the appropriateness or the legitimacy of the interventions. Other ethical challenges included the struggle for the establishment of operational cost. The number of resources to be used in the evacuation, rescue and other operations involving human lives presented ethical issues (Carnahan, Kryscynski, & Olson, 2017). While human lives were at stake, the authorities put a lot of consideration to the number of resources especially due to their limited nature. Another ethical challenge that was experienced in the wake of the 9/11 attack included the need to balance between the duty of sensitivity and transparency by the pertinent authority. The need to maintain integrity in the wake of differing moral values also presented significant challenges in the 9/11 attack. Here, there was dilemma regarding the extent to which individuals should compromise their personal and professionalism to collude effectively with international associates.

References

Barling, J. (2014). The science of leadership: Lessons from research for organizational leaders. Oxford University Press, USA.

Carnahan, S., Kryscynski, D., & Olson, D. (2017). When does corporate social responsibility reduce employee turnover? Evidence from attorneys before and after 9/11. Academy of Management Journal, 60(5), 1932-1962.

Clinton, J. R. (2017). The making of a leader: Recognizing the lessons and stages of leadership development. Two Words Publishing, LLC.

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