Monday, January 30, 2012

What's New at the LLC?

Are you aware that the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) has updated the website to make submission of documents and lessons more efficiently? Members of the LLC staff have a goal to make the site more user-friendly.

The new "Share Your Lessons" button users "with a vehicle for sharing specific successes, challenges, and lessons that you have experienced in the field. The button leads you to a form that allows you to input an event name, date, location, narrative and a few other categories that will help the LLC staff create a user-friendly document. Rapid Lesson Sharing documents will be stored in the Incident Reviews Database."

As we learn from our past, be a part of our future successes and lessons learned by submitting material to the LLC.

(The NWCG Leadership Subcommittee and the LLC are partnering together on a number of initiatives.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Leaving a Leadership Legacy - George C. Marshall

The "Leaders We Would Like to Meet" program showcases leaders within the wildland fire service. I'm starting a new blog feature, "Leaving a Leadership Legacy, that will appear every Friday. I will take readers on a journey into the leadership legacies of great leaders that may or may not be members of the wildland fire community.

General George C. Marshall
Photo: Wikipedia 
This Friday, we begin a seven- or eight-part series on the leadership legacy of General George C. Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff during World War II, the third Secretary of Defense, and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

In the George C. Marshall Foundation's "Soldier and Statesman - Part 1," we get a glimpse of Marshall's ties to the wildland fire service through his work as a member of a 27-person Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) crew in Vancouver, WA.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Col. Kail on Leadership Character

It has been a while since I shared articles from Col. Eric Kail, course director of military leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The links below are five of a six-part series on the Washington Post's blog titled "Leadership Character." Take a moment to read what Col. Kail has to say about leadership character. I'll share the last piece when it becomes available.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Leadership Lessons from Tony Dungy

I recently read a story about Tony Dungy, former coach for the Indianapolis Colts, in the Guideposts magazine. Mentors were a very important part of Tony's leadership development. I'll share some of the lessons that Tony learned about leadership development from his mentors.

 Allen Truman, an athlete and Tony's coach:
  • You don't have to run with the crowd. 
  • You're going to do big things.
  • Treat everyone fairly.
  • Stay focused on the mission.
Leroy Rockquemore, Tony's African-American assistant principal:

  • Show them you care by learning more about them.
  • Face challenges; don't run from them.

Coach Chuck Noll, coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers:
  • Don't try to imitate me. Be who you are and concentrate on your strengths.

Tony Dungy, himself:
  • A good leader remembers who the true leader is.
  • Being a mentor leader means bringing out the best in people.
  • Mentors challenge use to be our best. They shape our faith and our lives. 
  • Good mentors create good leaders.

  • Do you have a mentor? If you don't consider, get one. Most agencies have formal mentoring programs. 
  • Are you a mentor? Share your advice with others here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Leading from the Experts

Are you aware of the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center's "Learning from the Experts" video series? If you aren't be sure to check it out. I'll be showcasing a few videos on the blog in the coming months.

In "Bill Kaage: Using your Beliefs, Values, and Emotions," Bill Kaage, Branch Chief of NPS Wildland Fire, "discusses how you can deepen your conversational and emotional intelligence when sharing your perspective with others--including coworkers."

Do we really have to "sell" my ideas?
  • Are your beliefs, values, and attitudes expressed and heard?
  • Are you willing to go out on a limb to express yourself?
Don't be afraid to emote.
  • Do you show your emotions, share, and listen?
Use your emotional intelligence (the ability to perceive, use, understand and manage emotions) to make your point.
  • Do you show your emotions in an appropriate manner?
(Bill Kaage is a member of the L-580 Steering Committee.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Moment with Durrwachter

First, listen and advise but never offer a solution. Secondly, lead by example. Lastly, be compassionate - yet firm - and honest. ~ Jim Durrwachter

Be sure to check out the newest installment of "Leaders We Would Like to Meet" featuring Jennifer Hinckley's  interview with Jim Durrwachter, US Fish and Wildlife.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Remembering those behind the "Dream"

This weekend we remember the efforts of one of the nation's most effective civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This 13-minute video honors the leadership and sacrifices of those who fought for equal rights for all.


Check out another great resource: the Washington Post's "Memories of MLK."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What is It?


You see them, but do you know what they are and what they do?

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

  • A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry.
  • The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background.
  • Created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. It was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

How do I use it?

QR codes are used in conjunction with a mobile device barcode reader/scanner application. The application scans the image, identifies the location to which the user will be redirected, and redirects via a wireless connection.

QR Codes and the Firefighter

The GETA Group showcased QR codes on page 2 of their November 2011 Earthspin newsletter.

"This [QR code technology] has already been used for PIO applications in fire this past summer to pass on fire information to the public. The operations and planning sections could use this as an operational tool to get the most up to date information to firefighters. if a website is established for a particular incident then specific updates, IAPs, maps, and other pertinent information can be made available on that site. A QR code can then be generated that links to the incident site, and can be printed on any paper product suck as IAPs and incident maps.

Firefighters would only have to scan the QR code once while on that incident; they could then bookmark the website on their mobile device. The user could then return to the website everyday or even multiple times a day to get updates on the current situation."

The article goes on to tell users how to create the code.

What do you think?

  • So what do you think about the emergence of social media entering the world of wildland fire?
  • Do you have an idea of an application that could enhance the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program (WFLDP)?
  • Do you want to be a part of a growing group of firefighters who have purpose in bringing new ideas and innovation to our community?

Let us know if you have ideas or want to be a part of this initiative!

BTW: If you know don't have the barcode/scanner app, the above image provides a link to the WFLDP website.

Monday, January 9, 2012

"Developing Mindful Leaders"

As we begin 2012, I challenge you to become a mindful leader as well as develop other mindful leaders.

Polly LaBarre shares her tips for "Developing Mindful Leaders" on the Harvard Business Network. She shares Pamela Weiss' and Todd Pierce's pillars ("Personal Excellence Program") for unleashing human capability, resilience, compassion, and well-being:

  1. Developing people is a process — not an event.
  2. People don't grow from the neck up.
  3. Put mindfulness at the center (but don't call it that!).
  4. It's hard to grow alone.
  5. Everybody deserves to grow.

Read the article and tell us what you think. Do you agree with the pillars?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Leadership Lesson from Crossfit

CrossFit guru Greg Admundson shares an example of leading by example, caring for others, and setting the positive example for others to follow. After watching the video, share your stories here!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Exposing Our Roots: 2002 - 2003

Fireline Leadership Challenge
  • Are you familiar with the WFLDP website? What would you like to see changed about the site? What ideas do you have to make the site better? Share your ideas here or by sending an e-mail to
  • Have you taken L-180 or L-280? How do you feel about these courses? How can we make them better?