Monday, May 28, 2012

Normalization of Deviance: Courageous Self-Leadership (Part 4)

Self-Leadership Lessons from Mike Mullane
Courageous self leaders:
  • Set lofty goals and challenge themselves in the extreme. 
  • Accept the challenge. 
  • Stay focused on the goals. 
  • Advance their education. 
  • Constantly do their best at everything. 
Relating the Concept to Wildland Fire
In addition the the items above, wildland firefighters abide by moral courage as found in Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, pp. 63-64:

"Wildland fire leaders demonstrate moral courage by adhering to high ethical standards and choosing the difficult right over the easy wrong. We avoid ethical dilemmas by directing team members to operate in ways that are consistent with our professional standards and by directing them only to actions they can achieve ethically.
When we make mistakes, we handle them in honorable and effective ways, fixing the immediate problem then searching for root causes. Leaders with moral courage look for causes, not scapegoats, learning and improving, looking for ways to turn weaknesses into strengths.
An outgrowth of strong character, moral courage enables us to build trust with our teams and gain respect from peers. Although some may judge that leading ethically compromises short-term gains, leading ethically allows us to accomplish more than our mission.
Because the consequences of ethical decisions can be great and those who make such decisions may be asked later to justify their conclusion, following a careful and thorough process is a wise approach in situations with ambiguous courses of action. The values of duty, respect, and integrity should weigh heavily in any ethical decision." 

Other References
With the fire season upon us, take a moment to review this topic with your crews. We are operating in sub-optimal environments during challenging times. Fire leaders must take the time to instill this concept into their operational environments.

Thanks to Brian Fennessy, Local/County/Rural Representative on the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee, for referring this great video series.

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