Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beyond the L-Courses

Plan ahead graphic
(Photo credit: Dynamic Graphics)
So, you've taken that fire leadership course. Now what? Do you wait for your supervisor to approve the next course in line? Do you throw the student workbook on the shelf and get back to work? What is your plan?

Learning is a continuous process that requires a series of learning events. Assuming that becoming a leader in the wildland fire service is accomplished through completion of the leadership curriculum is short-sided and limits your potential as a wildland fire leader. This incremental approach to learning assumes that we will all become leaders of organizations and that learning is a one-time event that often occurs in a "classroom" event (whether in a room or the field). We need a series of learning events and actions that take what we learn and turn them into behaviors. A self-development plan should include a combination of training and events that complement each other and result in overall change. Additionally, creating a culture of knowledge sharing ensures that your organization as a whole is growing.

Every wildland firefighter is a leader; and as such, has a duty to be fit for command. Fit for command goes beyond the physical. Whatever level of leadership you assume, you have a responsibility to those with whom you serve. Your learning does not stop when a class is taken or publication is read. Effective students of fire and leadership routinely make time in their schedule for personal development. They don't wait for a supervisor to approve them for the next L-course. They continually review the lessons from courses, read, serve in outside organizations, watch movies, join forums, etc. They control their destiny and never stop learning or sharing their knowledge with others. They share what they learn with others.

We never know when a situation will develop that requires us to leap into action and make critical decisions that could save the lives of our fellow firefighters or even our own life. We challenge you to be the best you can be. Go beyond what is required of you and make a difference in the world around you.

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge--Digging a Little Deeper
Develop a plan to foster your self-development.
  • Watch Charles Jenning's video "Continuous Learning." Does your organization have a culture that enables learning? Is training more than 10% of your learning plan?

  • Visit the self-development website and download the self-development guide and appropriate template.
  • Set aside time in your schedule to learn and develop yourself regularly if not daily.

1 comment:

Jay Gan said...
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