Friday, May 9, 2014

What it Takes to be Great

Forest Hero by Paul Combs
(Photo credit: Paul Combs)
"Many of us carry this image of this all-knowing superhero who stands and commands and protects his followers." ~ Roselinde Torres

Members of the public often use the terms "hero" or "elite" to describe our workforce. Wildland firefighters are by and large a humble group. Leading in the Wildland Fire Service uses humble language: "The most essential element for success in the wildland fire service is good leadership." Leading in the Wildland Fire Service provides the framework, values, and principles that guide wildland fire leaders in providing leadership across a broad range of missions or what "good" or "right" looks like. However, what makes a "great" leader?

Roselinde Torres shares her insights in her TED Talks video "What it Takes to be a Great Leader."

"What makes a great leader in the 21st century?" 
Torres challenges organizations to answer three questions:
  1. Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life? 
    • Great leaders are not head-down. They see around corners, shaping their future, not just reacting to it. 
  2. What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network?
    • Great leaders understand that having a more diverse network is a source of pattern identification at greater levels and also of solutions, because you have people that are thinking differently than you are. 
  3. Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?
    • Great leaders dare to be different.
Torres believes great leaders "are women and men who are preparing themselves not for the comfortable predictability of yesterday but also for the realities of today and all of those unknown possibilities of tomorrow."

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge
On an individual or team level, watch Roselinde's video and then discuss the three questions.

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