Monday, April 26, 2010

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenges

Participants of sessions showcasing recently created Leadership in Cinema lesson plans and readers of the Leading and Learning newsletter have noticed the addition of "Wildland Fire Leadership Challenges." Previous blog posting have spotlighted a few of those challenges. By request, the leadership challenges have been adapted as stand alone items and are now available at the bottom of the Leadership in Cinema web page. These challenges can be group facilitated or self-taught.

If you have a Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge that you would like to share with other members of the wildland fire service, send them to for consideration.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Band of Brothers (Part 7) - The Breaking Point

Leadership in Cinema is proud to announce the first of many lesson plans being developed for the program by the members of the North Zone Fire - Black Hills National Forest. All lessons will come from the HBO Pictures mini-series called Band of Brothers.

Jamie Barnes, E-381 AFEO, created the first lesson plan in the project and has added some unique facilitation tools including incorporation of the self-development plan. Take time to peruse the lesson plan which can be found at

All members of the wildland fire service are encouraged to submit lesson plans or discussion questions. You do not have to follow the template exactly as all contributions to the program are worthy of consideration.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wildland Fire Agencies Announce 2009 Leadership Awards

Five individuals from the wildland fire service were chosen to receive the seventh national Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award. The recipients were selected for demonstrating valued leadership traits during or in support of wildland fire operations.

The annual award was created to honor Paul Gleason, a wildland firefighter whose career spanned several decades before he succumbed to cancer in 2003. Gleason is best known for developing the LCES (Lookout, Communication, Escape Routes, Safety Zones) concept that became the foundation of wildland firefighter safety. Throughout his career, Gleason led and mentored firefighters, studied and taught wildland fire, and worked to improve firefighter safety. The awards highlight Gleason’s influence on and contribution to wildland fire management, while honoring those who demonstrate the spirit of leadership for which he was known.

The award is sponsored by the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Subcommittee under the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, an interagency, intergovernmental group that works to improve policy, standards, and safety in wildland and prescribed fire management. The Gleason Award is based on three categories: motivation and vision; mentoring and teamwork; and innovation or initiative. Individuals and groups from federal, state, local and tribal agencies are eligible for the award.

The 2009 award winners are:
  • Dennis Baldridge, USFS ~Motivation and Vision

  • Pete Glover, Michigan DNR ~ Mentoring and Teamwork

  • Steve Holdsambeck, USFS ~ Initiative and Innovation

  • Kathy Komatz, NPS ~ Initiative and Innovation

  • Stan Stewart, USFS ~ Motivation and Vision

Visit to find out more about these and winners.

*Picture of Pete Glover receiving his reward.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Using Social Science to Understand and Improved Wildland Fire Organizations

Those leaders who are readers may want to peruse "Using Social Science to Understand and Improve Wildland Fire Organizations" developed by the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

"The references in this volume represent a diverse collection of classic and contemporary social science research related to managing organizations." General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-201 can be found at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Putting People First

A few years ago I spoke with training specialists at the US Navy’s Center for Naval Leadership regarding a particular Leadership in Cinema lesson plan that had been challenged by a well-known leadership development company. The Center of Naval Leadership had faced similar problems with the company and was in the process of adopting a new leadership model.

A few months ago while researching information for the WFLDP self-development tool, I came across an article that has captivated me titled “The Dynamics of High Performing Organizations” by Gary Lear of Resource Development Systems, LLC. This is the model that the US Navy’s Center for Naval Leadership selected for use in developing their leaders.

Lear’s a model called The Seven Elements of High Performance Organizations™. He contends that “It’s not processes, but people that drive performance.”

The Seven Elements include:

  • The Core Element – People
  • The 4 Cardinal Elements – Vision, Leadership, Strengths and Innovation
  • The 2 Foundational Elements – Trust and Personal Responsibility

Read for yourself what Lear says about his model at

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Federal Coach

The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service have collaborated to provide a federal leadership column and blog.

Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, The Federal Coach, addresses issues unique to the public sector.

The site is available at