Monday, October 14, 2019

Challenge #67: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge



Challenge #67: The Art of Leadership
Respond to the following question in your journal:
  • What's the one accomplishment you've made in your life that you're proudest and how has it impacted how you lead?
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Invite Input

fire suppression night operations
To create safety, leaders need to actively invite input. - Amy Edmondson

[Photo: La Grande IHC]

#fireleadership

Friday, October 11, 2019

Challenge #66: The Art of Leadership


easel and canvas with WFLDP challenge


Challenge #66: The Art of Leadership
Caring for self and others is a duty of every leader. Chronic workplace stress can cause burnout. Know the signs and how to avoid it.
#artofleadership

Thursday, October 10, 2019

IGNITE: Close Enough Yet Far Enough

firefighters on a rocky trail

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. ♦ John C. Maxwell ♦

[Photo: Midewin IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Karels Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

(L to R: Mark Stanford, Jim Karels, Shawnna Legarza, Tom Boggus)
(L to R: Mark Stanford, Jim Karels, Shawnna Legarza, Tom Boggus. Photo: Florida Forest Service)

PAUL GLEASON LEAD BY EXAMPLE AWARD
Lifetime Achievement
Jim Karels
2019

Jim Karels is a man of vision and action. His leadership attributes are not only evident to the citizens he serves but also to those who serve with him, both within his organization and throughout the wildland fire service.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Challenge #65: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #65: The Art of Leadership
Coach John Wooden began his quest for defining “success” with two principles:
  • Don’t try to be better than someone else.
  • Always try to be the best you can be.
In your journal, define your guiding principles and your definition of success.

[Source: Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, John Wooden & Jay Carty]

#artofleadership

Trust is Built on Truth

firefighters digging line

Trust is built on telling the truth, not telling people what they want to hear. ♦ Simon Sinek ♦

[Photo: B. Nealy/Devil's Canyon Veterans Handrew]

#fireleadership


Friday, October 4, 2019

Challenge #64 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #64 - The Art of Leadership

Keeping stress at a manageable level should be the goal of every person.
  • Read Dr. Robert Schachter’s book Mindfulness for Stress Management: 50 Ways To Improve Your Mood And Cultivate Calmness.
#artofleadership

Thursday, October 3, 2019

IGNITE: Take Care of Those in Your Charge


fighting fire at night with glow of fire in the background
“Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” 

♦ Simon Sinek

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Slow Down You Move Too Fast

sun shining with butterfly flitting around - slow down

Today's blog is inspired by Jacqueline Woodson's TedTalk "What Reading Slowly Taught Me About Writing." Jacqueline talks about how the speed reading craze impacted her ability to write. Like Jacqueline, I was a child of the '70s and remember how much this effort affected reading in my family.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Challenge #63 - The Art of Leadership


easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #63 - The Art of Leadership
Leaders surround themselves with people who can hold them accountable and can give them honest feedback.
  • Do you have an inner circle?
  • Evaluate your inner circle to ensure you have people who ask the hard questions and keep you honest.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Moral Capacity

burned forest
"Leaders are more likely to recognize moral dilemmas in the workplace if they have a heightened level of moral capacity.

Douglas May, Timothy Hodges, Adrian Chan & Bruce Avolio

[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]

Friday, September 27, 2019

Challenge #62 - Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #62 - Art of Leadership:

We don't learn much when everything goes right. We learn most when things go wrong. – Simon Sinek
  • Read Kyle Eliason’s article “11 Tips for a Successful Post-Mortem.” (http://bit.ly/334Jc0o)
  • Ensure you conduct an examination of both right and wrong events.
  • Celebrate successes and learn from failures.
#artofleadership

Thursday, September 26, 2019

IGNITE: The Power of Presence

We convince by our presence. ♦ Walt Whitman ♦

[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

To Communicate or Not To Communicate

communicating with cans and string
(Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay)
Communication (Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 22)
Communication is the primary tool for establishing an effective command climate. The ability to communicate effectively is universally rated as one of the most important leadership behaviors.
Communication is the foundation upon which we build trust and enable our teams to develop cohesion. Effective communication is a two-way process. Good leaders actively listen to build trust with others. Communication enables us to convey objectives and intent, break error chains, and improve situation awareness. Leaders are cognizant of the central role that communication plays in the ability to lead and always strive to become better communicators.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Challenge 61: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge 61: The Art of Leadership
Drills aren’t just a tool in a carpenter’s toolbox.
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!
  • Set up a drill (pre-mortem exercise) for your team.
  • Foster relationships with outside groups and hold joint drills.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Do It Right the First Time

crew buggy in the darkness
“If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it again?” ♦ John Wooden ♦
[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]
#fireleadership

Friday, September 20, 2019

Challenge #60 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #60 - The Art of Leadership

Leadership is not a solo “sport.”
  • Take a moment to thank someone who helped you get to where you are today.
  • Acknowledge someone within your sphere of influence who is presently making your job easier.
#artofleadership

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Don't Tell Me What I Want to Hear

eyes on fire
(Photo: Gellinger/Pixabay)
I was talking to my co-worker about a recent fire assignment he had been on. He told me about a trainee, a hotshot crew member, he was mentoring. At one point, my co-worker asked the firefighter to go scout a section of the fire and report back to him. The firefighter came back and gave his report. My co-worker asked the firefighter what plan of action they should take. The firefighter said, "May I speak freely?" My co-worker was a bit taken back by the response and took the opportunity to lead by saying (and I paraphrase), "Of course you do! I want you to tell me what you think, not what I want to hear."

Monday, September 16, 2019

Challenge #59 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #59 - The Art of Leadership
Leaders put the needs of others before self.
  • Check in on someone. Be present with and available for them during your visit.
  • Devote yourself to a cause.
  • Consider being a mentor.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Ask the Right Question

firefighters walking to fire
The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer. ♦ Thomas J. Watson ♦
[Photo: La Grande IHC]
#fireleadership

Friday, September 13, 2019

Challenge #58 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #58 - The Art of Leadership

Great leaders know who they are and what they want. Respond to the following in your journal.
  • What defines you?
  • Are you doing what you want to be doing? Why not?
  • What about your job as a leader brings you joy?
  • What about your job causes you concern?
#artofleadership

Thursday, September 12, 2019

IGNITE: Understanding What We Cannot See

firefighter silhouette
Leaders understand the value in the things we cannot see.
♦ Simon Sinek

[Photo: San Juan IHC]
#fireleadership

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Is Our Culture Critically Endangered?


Battle of Gettysburg cannon
Cemetery Ridge/Pickett's Charge area
I recently watched Barry Mosses' TEDx talk: Preserving endangered languages. I found the talk enlightening on multiple levels, including diversity and inclusion. With regard to leadership, however, I began thinking about the wildland fire service and the whether or not the culture change that occurred following the South Canyon tragedy is endangered.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Challenge #57 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #57 - The Art of Leadership 

Effective leaders maximize training effectiveness.
  • What plan do you have in place to ensure training transfer occurs? 
  • Are you fostering a culture where sharing knowledge and information is encouraged? 
  • Do you have a safe space in which people can learn? 
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Earn It & Claim It!

firefighters on a rock outcropping

Leadership isn't something that anyone can give you—you have to earn it and claim it for yourself.
 Travis Bradberry, forward of Great Leaders Have No Rules 

[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]
#fireleadership.gov

Friday, September 6, 2019

Challenge #56 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #56 - The Art of Leadership
Leaders are responsible for nurturing organizational culture.
  • Are you familiar with values, assumptions, and beliefs or your organization? Are you sharing them with your team?
  • Do the behaviors of your team members and yourself match those of the organization?
  • Develop a plan of action to address behavior issues and cultural change.
*Inspiration: Growing Influence by R. Price & S. Ennis

#artofleadership

Thursday, September 5, 2019

IGNITE: Your Personal Example


wildland firefighter cold training the line
The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.
Coach John Wooden


[Photo credit: Kari Greer/USFS]
#fireleadership

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Be A Good Human

(Photo: Brit Floyd courtesy of Pam McDonald)
The development of character is at the heart of our development, not just as leaders, but as human beings. - John Maxwell
In 1971, Helen Ready released her song "I Am Woman." I loved her song then, and I love it now. You see, talking about gender is not something new. Having been in wildland fire for more than 30 years, I have seen the gender issue come and go. Some might say I am a survivor. I consider myself a good and loyal servant.  You see, I see firefighters as humans—not male or female.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Challenge #55 - The Art of Leadership

easel with canvas and WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #55 - The Art of Leadership
In your journal, respond to the following questions. Include a plan of action.
  • Are you content with your job?
  • Are you learning enough?
  • Are you challenged enough?
  • What causes you joy and discontent with your job?
#artofleadership

IGNITE: The Essential Need for Moral Courage

American flag with fire behind
"Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.“ ♦ Robert F. Kennedy ♦
[Photo: Globe IHC]
#fireleadership

Friday, August 30, 2019

Challenge #54 - The Art of Influence


easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #54 - The Art of Leadership
Leaders promote connectivity within their teams.
#artofleadership

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Progress Is Inevitable

Be Change Become
(Image by John Hain from Pixabay)

"Women astronauts. What a ridiculous idea." - 


Recently I asked our readers the following question: "As a leader, what do you have control over?" The most popular response was, "Yourself." Not a single person mentioned time or change. Wouldn't it be handy if we could control time, especially with regard to bringing about change.

There is yet to be a generation that hasn't struggled with the glacial speed of change. Being a change agent is hard business. Many times change agents never see the "fruits of their labor." In fact, some may never know they had any influence at all. Sometimes it all depends on our perspective.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Challenge #53 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #53 - The Art of Leadership
Leadership is the art of influencing people in order to achieve a result.
  • How do you define influence?
  • Do you feel you have influence?
  • Where would you like more influence? Devise a plan of action.
[Inspiration: Growing Influence by Ron Price & Stacy Ennis]

IGNITE: It's Not Just What You Say

drip torch in snow in front of fire

It’s not only what you say, but how you say it that makes a strong leader. ♦ Unknown ♦

[Photo: Platte Canyon WF Module]

#fireleadership

Friday, August 23, 2019

Challenge #52 - The Art of Leadership


easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #52 - The Art of Leadership

Self-care and reflection are vital. Respond to the following in your journal.
  • Are you happy where you’re at?
  • Do you feel like you’re fulfilling what you’re meant to in life?
[Source: Growing Influence by Ron Price & Stacy Ennis]

#artofleadership

Thursday, August 22, 2019

IGNITE: Builders Not Breakers

firefighters at the base of a large tree with fire around

The art of leadership is about inspiring people to build something, not threatening to break something.  ♦ Simon Sinek ♦

[Photo: Devil's Canyon Veterans Handcrew]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

We are all replaceable, but...

future (finger point to you)
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 
As I write this blog, I look in the review mirror of a 35-year career in wildland fire. When I started in wildland fire at the age of 19, I had no idea the job I took to help pay for college and an education in business administration and high school vocational education would become the vocation from which I would retire. But here I am with three to five years left until retirement.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Challenge #51 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #51 - The Art of Leadership

Effective leaders have accountability partners they can turn to for constructive criticism and honest feedback.
  • Do you have an accountability person/team? If not, find/form one.
  • Check in with your person/team on a regular basis.
  • Keep track of your check-ins and progress in your journal.

IGNITE: Team Chemistry

firefighters gathered around a campfire
When you encounter a group with good chemistry, you know it instantly. ♦ Daniel Coyle ♦ 

[Photo: San Juan IHC]

IGNITE: No Threat

firefighters working the line

Leaders are not threatened by people with great potential. ♦ John C. Maxwell ♦
[Photo: Redding IHC]
#fireleadership

Friday, August 16, 2019

Challenge #50 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #50 - The Art of Leadership
Effective leaders develop other leaders and share their power as much as possible.
  • Does your organization have a growth mindset? If not, consider implementing it where feasible.
  • Who are you grooming to take your position?
  • Practice the art of delegation.
#artofleadership

Thursday, August 15, 2019

IGNITE: Well Done!

firefighters walking into the sunset
Well done is better than well said. - Benjamin Franklin

[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Leadership At All Levels

Redding IHC Buggy Rollover FLA cover
(Redding IHC Buggy Rollover FLA cover)
“I hadn’t even touched base with my family yet and it was already out there (on social media.)” - Phil
Point #1: When chaos enters the scene, every person on the team is a leader. Be ready to act.

On Tuesday, April 30, Redding IHC's Buggy B was involved in an accident with an oncoming vehicle, resulting in a rollover of the buggy and injury to several crew members.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Challenge #49 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #49 - The Art of Leadership
Effective teams share a set of common values.
  • Print out the Wildland Fire Values and Principles*.
  • Place (or write) a copy in your journal.
  • Become familiar with them.
  • Share them with your team.
*https://www.nwcg.gov/wfldp#collapse3

#artofleadership

IGNITE: Invite Input for Safety

crew running with mountains in background
To create safety, leaders need to actively invite input.
♦ Amy Edmondson ♦

[Photo: Gannett Glacier Fire Crew]

Friday, August 9, 2019

Challenge #48 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #48 - The Art of Leadership
Effective leaders have the moral courage to do the right thing.
  • In your journal, identify a wrong that you have witnessed. What would you do if you were in this situation?
  • Is there a wrong you need to make right? Make the correction, if possible.
#artofleadership

Thursday, August 8, 2019

IGNITE: Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

fire and off-road vehicle
Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. 
♦ Peter Drucker ♦

[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

When Doves Fly and Cats Leap

doves on fence

'Tis summer in Boise. There is smoke in the air from surrounding wildfires, fields of corn, pastures of cured grasses, and doves on the fence. Any other day, I would go about by business of getting ready for work; but today I took a minute to watch the doves.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Challenge #47 - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Challenge #47 - The Art of Leadership
Leaders dream big and focus small.
  • Read Gary Keller’s book The One Thing.
  • Use your journal to track your “one things” and monitor your performance.