Monday, May 9, 2011

New Frontiers

"It is not worrying who gets the credit as long as the objective is
achieved, sometimes leading from behind, letting others lead at times,developing respect but not fear, and keeping communication and involvement a part of the leadership equation." ~ Chuck Bell
I came across an article on my desk that I had stuffed into a someday-I'll-blog-about-this folder on my desk. "Leadership Lessons from Lewis and Clark" was written by Chuck Bell, President of Learning Disguised as Fun, and printed in Ohio State University's Leadership Link. The link to the publication has since been removed, but I'll share reasons why, according to Bell, Lewis and Clark's "co-leadership" strategy worked and can easily become success in wildland fire.

Here are excerpts from Bell's article:

Common Vision
  • "There was a common vision and goal.
  • Lewis and Clark considered themselves equal and a team.
  • They complemented each other in their skills and experience, and accepted this.
  • They accepted each others' decisions without challenge and showed trust and teamwork by example to the rest of the party.
  • Lewis and Clark divided responsibilities according to their individual strengths and skills.

Involving the Team

  • Lewis and Clark used involvement of the party effectively from the start.
  • They were consistent in discipline, following through on expectations of the time, treating each person firmly, but fairly.
  • Lewis and Clark cared about those in the party.
  • The captains did not expect others to do what they would not do.

Building Relationships

  • Lewis and Clark knew the skills and attitudes of the men in the party.
  • They knew the men beyond their skills.
  • They provided others with the yoke of leadership by breaking the expedition into five groups with specific objectives.
  • Lewis and Clark laid a firm foundation (and an example) for their leadership with good communication, clear objectives, consistency and firmness, role modeling, teamwork, trust, showing respect, caring, giving responsibility, and being familiar with the skills and character of those they were responsible for."
Reference: Bell, Chuck (unknown publication date). "Leadership Lessons from Lewis and Clark." Leadership Link

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