Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Leading on the Spectrum

spectrum of colors
(Photo credit: Kim Steele/Thinkstock)
Spectrums and scales can be found throughout the wildland fire environment. Here are a couple.

For the last 16 years, I have had the unique opportunity to become a student of leadership—to practice my art in various forums. Hours of research into leadership development has become years, and I have learned that gender has no correlation on leadership effectiveness and that all leadership styles and models are available for consideration. 

While researching authenticity for this year's national leadership campaign, I came across  John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio’s book The Athena Doctrine. The concept of leading on a spectrum that has both masculine and feminine traits regardless of gender became my guiding light (yes, pun intended).

Regardless of gender, leading on the spectrum allows an individual to be more resilient, to pick and choose how s/he will respond. Because every imaginable trait or leadership model is at their disposal, a leader can assess a situation and respond appropriately—whether that be from the heart or from a firmer position of discipline and care. Leading from the spectrum allows a male to select a feminine response and a female to respond with a masculine trait without fear of shame or judgment.

It is my hope that by sharing this perspective, some of the issues we face today regarding gender disparity could lessen. We should be finding commonality instead of focusing on differences.

I challenge each of you to lead with light and purpose! May your leadership art be creations of many different leadership styles and methods that exist on the spectrum.

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge - Digging a Little Deeper
  • Read John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio’s book The Athena Doctrine.

About the Author:
Pam McDonald is a writer/editor for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.

2017 Wildland Fire Leadership Campaign - Leading Authentically logo (three-peaked mountain in golds and browns with a path to duty, respect and integrity)

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