Sunday, July 5, 2015

Followership to Leadership - 2015 Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge

2015 Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge logo As we prepared to ring in the new year, the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program (WFLDP) we challenge our followers to take the 2015 Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge. This year's theme is Followership to Leadership. 

New in 2015 is a change from an inwardly-focused campaign to an interdisciplinary challenge. Looking beyond self, the wildland fire service is challenging those within its sphere of influence to join our movement to IGNITE the Spark for Leadership—wherever we may live and work.

Visit the WFLDP website to download your copy of the 2015 Wildland Fire Leadership ChallengeFollowership to Leadership Reference Guide


Mission: The mission of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program is “to promote cultural change in the workforce and to emphasize the vital importance of leadership concepts in the wildland fire service by providing educational and leadership development opportunities.” The challenge provides potential local or self-directed leadership development resources focused on a central theme with the intent of strengthening the wildland fire service and the community as a whole.

Theme: The theme for the 2015 challenge is Followership to Leadership. The Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program recognizes “followership” as the first level of leadership. Leaders cannot lead without good followers. Good followers provide a foundation upon which better leaders of people, leaders of leaders, and leaders of organizations is built.

Task: Provide an opportunity for personnel at the local level—whether collectively or through self-development—to focus leadership development activities relating to the national challenge theme: Followership is Leadership.

  • To foster a cohesive effort to promote leadership development across disciplines.
  • To provide a template that can be used to encourage leadership development at the local unit level.
  • To provide a mechanism to collect innovative leadership development efforts and share across disciplines.
End State: Creation of a culture that willingly shares innovative leadership development efforts in order to maintain superior interdisciplinary leadership.

Dates of Challenge: Any time between January 1, 2015, and November 30, 2015.

Length of Challenge: Determined locally to meet the goals and the objectives of the local unit or team.

Audience: The target audience is all wildland fire personnel—line-going and support; however, we encourage other disciplines to IGNITE the Spark for Leadership and take the challenge.

Implementation: The challenge is flexible. Local units or teams may use or adapt any or all materials contained within this document or develop a program or activity spotlighting the challenge theme. Challenge coordinators are encouraged to think outside the confines of the template and develop a program that meets local and individual needs. Innovation should fuel your challenge delivery: workshops or tailgate sessions, to kick off staff meetings, as a team activity or self-directed, etc.

Measuring Success:
  • Local: Local unit leaders and managers will determine what “success” looks like and how participation will be recognized by those involved. 
  • National: A committee formed by the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee will recognize one unit’s contribution to the challenge through the IGNITE the Spark for Leadership Contest. (See complete details below.)
Recognizing Local Unit Participation:
  • A sample certificate is available at the end of this document to acknowledge students of fire participating in the leadership challenge at the local level.

IGNITE the Spark for Leadership Contest – From the Field for the Field

Throughout the nation, leaders are building teams and developing their people using tools they have found or developed themselves. Imagine if our leaders and their subordinates shared their experiences and successes with each other. Consider the possibility of going to a website and having a ready-made palette of leadership development tools from which to choose—items from the field for the field.

Using the spirit of healthy competition, the IGNITE the Spark for Leadership Contest is intended to be one of the mechanisms used to collect innovative leadership development efforts to be shared across disciplines.

The IGNITE the Spark for Leadership Contest is an optional component of the Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge and limited to entities with a tie to the wildland fire service. Items to submit:
  • Required: 
    • Written summary not to exceed ten (10) pages. (See “Judging” section for what to address.)
  • Recommended:
    • Supplementary materials not to exceed thirty (30) pages or pieces. May include, but is not limited to, photos, videos, and materials used.
  • Optional (but highly encouraged and can be done with coordination of the NWCG Leadership Committee Logistics Coordinator):
    • Promote your leadership challenge through social media networks such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. Provide a social media journal (can be very simple) and URLs for your pages.
Send your challenge documentation to:
  • Mail: NWCG Leadership Subcommittee
    Attention: Pam McDonald
    3833 South Development Avenue
    Boise, ID 83705

All entries will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Local unit information:
    • Name of participating unit/team
    • Point of contact (POC) name
    • POC contact information (telephone, physical address, and e-mail)
    • Number of individuals participating—include percentage of personnel involved
    • Brief description of challenge activities
  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Apparent tie-in to the WFLDP values and principles 
  • Comprehensiveness of challenge (several elements used versus one or two and focus on challenge)
  • Inclusiveness (all personnel considered target audience)
  • Level of participation by target audience
  • Interdisciplinary impact
Winner Recognition
The NWCG Leadership Subcommittee will determine how award winner(s) will be recognized (e.g., plaque, trophy) on a yearly basis. Winner(s) and those recognized for honorable mention will also be featured on and through various media sites and publications.

Entry Deadline
November 30, 2015

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