Tuesday, November 26, 2013

At the Heart of the Matter

Heart in palms
(Photo credit: Well Commons)
Servant leaders lead with the heart. Threads of servant leadership are woven throughout the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program's values and principles and foundation. Abiding by the values of duty, respect, and integrity naturally creates a servant heart.

In his article "The Most Powerful Habit You Can Imagine," servant leader Bruce Kasanoff shares his perspective on what guides his career and personal decisions. He developed a single sentence as his guide:
Be generous and expert, trustworthy and clear, open-minded and adaptable, persistent and present."
Kasanoff expands upon his blog in "Simplify Your Future: Simple Principles for Complicated Times." He uses the following definitions to complement the sentence above:
  • Generous means to help others long before - and after - you need their help.
  • Expert means to be very competent in one or more areas that others value. It also means that whenever you take on a new task, do your best.
  • Trustworthy means to take ownership of your words and actions, and recognize that you live in a world in which they will increasingly be recorded, remembered, analyzed, and replayed.
  • Clear means to know what you want and to be able to communicate it effectively.
  • Open-minded means no matter how expert or successful you become, never stop listening and learning.
  • Adaptable means to keep your options open, so that when the world surprises you, it won't be that surprising.
  • Persistent means to keep trying, even when times are tough and you are tempted to quit.
  • Present means that although you should learn from the past and be prepared for the future, you should pay close attention to the present moment as it unfolds - otherwise, you will miss a great deal.
If you want to learn more about simplifying your future, download the short guide from Kasanoff's website

Applying the Elements to the Wildland Fire Service

Chris Graves, Captain/Paramedic, Reno Fire Department Operations Division, not only shared this article with us, but took Kasanoff's philosophy and applied them to the wildland fire service. 

Be generous and expert...
  • Duty ~  Develop your subordinates for the future. Be proficient in your job, both technically and as a leader.
  • Respect ~ Know your subordinates and look out for their well-being. Build the team.
trustworthy and clear...
  • Integrity ~ Set the example. Seek responsibility and accept responsibility for your actions.
  • Respect ~ Keep your subordinates informed. 
open-minded and adaptable...
  • Respect ~ Employ your subordinates in accordance with their capabilities. 
  • Duty - Make sound and timely decisions. 
  • Integrity ~ Know yourself and seek improvement.
persistent and present.
  • Duty ~ Ensure tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished. 
  • Duty/Leader's Intent ~ Provide purpose, direction, and motivation for subordinates.
  • Making Sound and Timely Decisions ~ Maintain situation awareness.
Thanks to Chris Graves, Captain/Paramedic, Reno Fire Department Operations Division, for this contribution! The expressions within this blog are those of the author.

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