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.

The foundational tenet of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program (WFLDP) is the Values and Principles. The values provide direction, the principles define the values as the WFLDP intended them to be interpreted. Each of the WFLDP Values will have a slightly different meaning or interpretation to each person that reads them. The Principles help us maintain consistency with the WFLDP. Without knowing our values the definition will be incomplete. As leaders we also need to understand the values of the organization we work for and we need to understand our values as we align ourselves with the organizations.

A lecture delivered to an incoming class at West Point has some interesting perspectives on how leaders can gain valuable perspective on their values.  The author provides a thorough argument for concentrating on understanding your values and how when challenged with formidable dilemmas this exercise in self-development will be the preparation that leads to an effective and successful conclusion.

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