Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Power from Empowerment

by Denis Waitley

A good way to think of leadership is the process of freeing your team members to do the best work they possibly can. I have followed NBA basketball coach Phil Jackson’s career.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Facing the Enemies Within"

Wildland fire operations have inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, even in the best of circumstances. Incident management and response is a competition between human beings and the forces of nature; leaders struggle to manage the effects caused by wildfire and other natural and man-made events. The environment can rapidly and unexpectedly change from normal to emergency conditions to complete chaos.
(Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 10)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Leadership Lessons from the Chilean Mine Entrapment

“In crisis, it’s tough to keep people focused on the team rather than themselves.”
People around the world have been riveted to the Chilean mine entrapment of 33 workers for 69 days some 2,000 feet below the earth’s surface. On October 13, 2010, all 33 men were rescued. The final rescue was that of the crew’s leader, Luis Urzua.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Workforce Development

One thing I notice when I am browsing many leadership sites, especially the ones aimed at Business people. They talk about moving up the ladder as a reward the faster you climb the ladder the greater the reward will be, more money, nicer office, earlier retirement. This got me thinking, do we, the wildland fire community foster an environment where competent, capable people have the opportunity to advance their career at their pace or do we hold them to an artificial standard? Do not confuse my question as a label for our community or that this is the way I see it. I do not advocate giving someone a qualification, they need to earn it but I wonder if we demand more than what is required?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Teamwork in Decline at Federal Agencies"

Fire leaders build cohesive teams--not simply groups of individuals putting forth individual efforts--to accomplish missions in high-risk environments.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Leadership is

I just read the article by Dr. Robert McTeer on leadership. You can find it in the Leadership Toolbox, under Integrity in the About Leadership link.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Clinging to Procedures

Have you come upon someone who followed policies and procedures, whether mandatory or not, so strongly that they failed to listen?

I came across a blog by Kate Nasser called People Skills: Procedures Block Listening which I found insightful and wanted to share. Kate asserts that "When people cling to procedures, the procedures can block listening."

Consider our own procedures: the Standard Firefighter Orders and the 18 Watch Out Situations. Some contend they are guidelines; others contend they are steadfast rules. The debate alone can cause a confusion and block listening. However, strict adherence to any policy or procedure could result in an unwanted consequence. Having open communication and analyzing concerns and requests with an attitude of respect can have profound results.

Policies and procedures have their place but should not block our ability to listen.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Self Development

There is a saying that suggests “If you and your boss share the same opinion, one of you is redundant.” Another popular adage, “what the boss wants the boss gets.” As leaders we frequently find ourselves trying to operate in the space between these two axioms. We strive to be successful, complete the tasks we are assigned and win praise from superiors without being a “yes” person. Without a good grasp of personal or professional values to grant guidance this can be a difficult position at best.