Date of Conferral
Research does not sufficiently address how fire lieutenants in the central United States experience leadership development. Leadership development training, coaching, and mentoring are important processes that prepare followers to become effective leaders in public safety organizations. The intent of this qualitative research study was to explore the lived experiences and stories of fire lieutenants to obtain a clear understanding of how transformational leadership training was perceived to affect their careers. Face-to-face interviews from a purposeful sample of 7 fire suppression lieutenants queried 3 relevant areas derived from the literature, comprising of transformational leadership, critical success factors, and mentoring and coaching. Open hand and axial coding extracted data to identify the emergent themes regarding fire lieutenants' comprehension of leadership development training and was validated with member checking as described in the literature. Findings show that transformational leadership equips leaders to motivate followers to be more creative in their job, influences transparency in decision-making, and affects the transition from lower-level to mid-level management. This research contributes to positive social change by adding to the existing knowledge throughout the United States where fire services can establish mentoring and coaching training programs for their future leaders and establish continuous ongoing training in transformational leadership to increase the overall effectiveness of the organization. The more public safety organizations apply transformational leadership training as part of the development of officers; the better prepared fire lieutenants are to lead their followers, thus helping to build a better and safer society.