Developing a new context for leadership development in the Los Angeles Fire Department
Richmond, Trevor M.
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Leadership development in the fire service and other homeland security entities is in need of an assessment. Homeland security leaders are pointing to leadership as the single biggest determinant of success of the homeland security enterprise in the near term. How these entities have approached leadership development in the past has not proven in any empirical way that it is developing better leaders. Perhaps this approach is wrong, and leadership training needs to look to the broader social environment for insights into effective leadership development. This thesis examined how the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and similar homeland security entities could take advantage of the contemporary thoughts on leadership development to prepare their leaders better. This thesis assessed the Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academy through a formative evaluation of the current educational contexts and concluded that much of the existing educational framework was not responsive or representative of current thoughts on effective leadership development. Lastly, this thesis offered a new narrative for leadership development in the LAFD and other homeland security entities by pivoting the understanding of leadership development as an individual process to leadership development as a social process.
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