- In today's fire service, there seems to be those departments that progress and those that remain status quo or even stagnate. Many fire service professionals, while at seminar and trade shows, the National Fire Academy, reading trade publications, or involved with other fire service related functions, spend considerable periods of time comparing and contrasting their respective fire departments. Through these discussions and findings, these same professionals soon learn that not all fire departments are considered equally with respect to available resources and support for their strategic plans. There does appear to be some disparity in this country among different fire departments with regard to available financial resources. The implications for this disparity include inferior quality of service, low employee morale, and low productivity. Both the organization and the public must endure the consequences from same. The question becomes, then, why do some departments seem to do better than others in their quest to gain a larger share of the scarce financial resources when attempting to improve services? What factors are considered? What strategies are used? How important of a role does the fire chief play? Is there a nexus between the city manager and the fire chief's professional image when additional resources are requested, or are these decisions based solely on their merit? The purpose of this research was to determine what role, if any, the fire chief had in successfully influencing a city manager with regard to acceptance of a strategic plan or receiving a greater share of the limited available financial resources. A particular emphasis was placed on the fire chief's professional image. The research undertaken for this project centered around the attributes of leadership and professional image and included various conclusions and opinions from experts and professionals. Additionally, the results from the completion of a survey instrument from city managers was also considered for arriving at a final conclusion. Historical and Action research methodology were used to answer the following questions: 1. Does leadership and the professional image of a chief executive officer play an important role in the success of an organization? 2. What are some of the key attributes of the successful leader? 3. Does the professional image of a fire chief have any significant effect on the success of the acceptance of a strategic plan from city managers? 4. What professional attributes are city managers desiring in fire chiefs today? Based upon the literature reviewed, there was sufficient supporting literature available to indicate that the professional image of a chief executive officer played an important role in the success of an organization. The professional image, which includes the many aspects of leadership, could not be understated. The survey results also indicated that if fire chiefs continued to further develop themselves in the areas of leadership and management, a greater consideration would definitely be given to the acceptance of strategic plans and annual budget requests. Based on the foregoing, the following was recommended as a product of this research: 1. That fire chiefs, as a group of professionals, continue with widespread professional development with a particular emphasis on leadership, management, financial management, communication skills, public presentations, strategic thinking and planning, technical skills, valuing diversity, ability to see the entire organization of the city and not just the fire department, being a team player, and increased labor relations abilities in order to better position themselves for greater consideration in the acceptance of their strategic plans and annual budget requests. 2. That fire chiefs continue to plan, develop, and implement strategic plans regardless of the economic conditions at the local and national levels.