Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Framework of Leadership

Leading in the Wildland Fire Service publication

A Framework for Leadership
The wildland fire service's framework is built upon the following foundational concepts:
  • The Authority to Lead versus the Decision to Lead
    • The authority to lead is established by law. 
    • The ability to lead is something that cannot be legislated.
    • A leader's journey is a perpetual cycle of acquiring, shaping, and honing the knowledge and skills of leadership. 
    • Leaders choose to sacrifice their own needs for those of their teams an organizations.
  •  Art of Leadership
    • Committed leaders can inspire others and make an enormous difference in people's lives, on the results of the team, and in the progress of the organization.
    • The art of leadership requires a constant interchange of theory and application.
    • The art includes being able to view the larger picture.
    • The art of leadership requires successfully balancing many factors in the real world, based on the situation at hand, to achieve a successful outcome.
  • Wildland Fire - A High-Risk Environment
    • We are asked to make tough decisions under a compressed time frame, given limited information, in a complex and high-risk environment.
    • Fire leaders must have the ability to integrate varied resources into effective and responsive temporary teams.
  • Leadership Environment
    • The leadership environment is made up of four elements: 
      • The leader
      • His/her people
      • The situation
      • The consequences (short- and long-term effects of the leader's actions)
  • Command Philosophy
    • Command Based on Intent
      • Describing the task, purpose, and end state is the prerequisite for empowering out people to exercise individual initiative an take appropriate risks and actions as the situation requires.
    • Unity of Effort
      • Leaders must employe multiple leadership skills to influence decisions, forge effective relationships, facilitate cooperative efforts, and ensure that objectives are achieved.
  • Command Climate
    • Command Presence
      • Character is the foundation of command presence.
      • Effective leaders project an image that is calm, organized, and focused on success.
      • Fire leaders take charge when in charge; we lead from the front and act decisively.
    • Communication
      • Communication is the primary tool for establishing an effective command climate.
      • Communication is the foundation upon which we build trust and enable our teams to develop cohesion.
      • Communication enables us to convey objectives and intent, break error chains, and improve situation awareness.
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