Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Turning Concepts into "Ways of Being"

(Photo credit: Pixabay.com)
The leadership concepts we share when working to develop our professional/career skills and abilities might best be conveyed in the lessons we learn in our lives more broadly. Consider turning our concepts into “ways of being.” Internalize them; make them personal and meaningful and connecting them in ways that resonate and manifest in the how, not what, we think about stuff.

Our leadership courses are intentionally designed with non-fire scenarios to keep students focused on leadership and not tactics and strategies of the fireline and then connecting back to how the concept manifests in our jobs. One of the more powerful tools I use to internalize and apply the concepts of leadership is to frame them in my relationships with my family and friends.

My daughters have consistently shed light on my skills and understanding (or lack thereof) of the leadership concepts I so desperately attempt to apply on the fireline. It can be difficult to feel prepared to develop a command climate that encourages honest communications with your crew when your 16-year old daughter feels she cannot confess she has an interest in dating (knowing you'll not approve of ANY young man) or that she's been asked to attend a “kegger” in the woods.

Going through the Leading in the Wildland Fire Service publication and thinking of how I would explain these concepts relative to our relationships outside of the workplace has been a powerful glue for me when it comes to making something personal and with staying power.

Reflection and Leadership Challenge

Thinking about the leadership concepts we share in our professional development, what kind of lessons have your kids, your spouse, your parents, and best friends taught you about your skills, your understanding, and your practices of true leadership?

About the Author:
Bill Miller is a course coordinator for the National  Advanced Fire and Resource Institute (NAFRI) and member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.

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