Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Same Story, Different Chapter—The Great Chicago Fire

(By Currier and Ives - Chicago Historical Society (ICHi-23436), Public Domain/Wikipedia)
We continue our "Same Story, Different Chapter" series showcasing the Great Chicago which started the same day as the Phestigo fire on October 8, 1871. Regardless of how the fire started (the rumor of a cow), the Great Chicago fire would become one of the most devastating and famous fires in U.S. history. So much so that few would ever hear about the Phestigo fire with nearly three times the loss of life.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Final Challenge - The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge


Final Challenge: The Art of Leadership
Approach each day with a blank canvas.
  • Write and paint a new page in our life story.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: The Possible Out of Impossible

fading firefighter in front of flames
“Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." ♦ Louis D. Brandeis, lawyer/associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court ♦
[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]

#fireleadership

Friday, December 27, 2019

Challenge #88: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge #88: The Art of Leadership 

In your journal, reflect upon the following:
  • What shifts in your leadership have you experienced over the last year?
  • What do you still need to work on? 
#artofleadership

Thursday, December 26, 2019

IGNITE: The Key to the Past

huge tree with fire in the background
“The key to deciphering the past might just lie in the technologies of the future." ♦ Katherine J. Wu, NOVA ♦
[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Same Story, Different Chapter—The Great Peshtigo Fire

The Peshtigo Fire showing people seeking refuge in the Peshtigo River
G. J. Tisdale - Peshtigo Fire museum
The Peshtigo Fire showing people seeking refuge in the Peshtigo River, 1871. taken from Harper's Weekly, 1871 Page 1037.
The year is 1871. The month is October. The day was the 8th.

The night of October 8, 1871, would go down as one of the worst in fire history. A fire started in a barn and nearly destroyed Chicago. Between 250 and 3,000 people died in the days that followed.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Challenge #87: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge #87: The Art of Leadership
Being an agent of change is a leader’s job. In your journal, respond to the following:
  • How do I feel about leading change?
  • List one area of change you intend to lead in 2020.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Empowerment through Mentoring

two firefighters on a hillside

"A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future and believe it can be obtained." ♦ Shawn Hitchcock ♦

[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]
#fireleadership

Friday, December 20, 2019

Challenge #86: The Art of Leadership


Challenge #86: The Art of Leadership

Effective leaders benchmark other leaders.
  • Who are the leaders you follow?
  • Keep yourself relevant and informed by switching up your list from time to time.
#artofleadership

Bringing the Darkness Into the Light

Is your organization fostering a proactive approach to self-care and mental health and wellness?

May we never forget Cory Iverson's contribution to the wildland fire service. Cory died fighting the Thomas fire in 2017. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

IGNITE: Teach What You Learn

does with fawns in burned area

Teach what you learn as soon as you learn it. - The Daily Coach

[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Same Story, Different Chapter


(Photo: Kincade Fire 2019 by Kari Greer/USFS)
The year is 1871, or was it  1872, 1894, 1910, 1947, 2003, 2016, 2018, or 2019? The month was  October, or was it November, September? It was Peshtigo, or was it Chicago, Boston, Hinkley, Northern Idaho/Montana, Bar Harbor, San Diego, Gatlinburg, Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, Paradise, or plainly California.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Challenge #85: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge #85: The Art of Leadership

Good leaders hone their critical thinking skills.
  • Read the INC article “7 Mental Exercises to Make You a Better Critical Thinker” by Larry Alton. [http://bit.ly/2ImfVpk]
  • Practice. Practice. Practice
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Wrong Choices, Right Places

firefighter digging line
"Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places." ♦ LollyDaskal ♦
[Photo credit: Kari Greer/USFS]

#fireleadership

Friday, December 13, 2019

Challenge #84: The Art of Leadership


Challenge #84: The Art of Leadership

You have had nearly a year to work on your leadership art. In your journal, respond to the following:
  • What five words describe you at your best?
  • What five words describe you at your worst?
  • What is your plan to maintain the best and mitigate the worst?
#artofleadership

Thursday, December 12, 2019

IGNITE: Seeing What Others Don't See

“Most people are good at evaluating the obvious. The exceptional leaders will look beneath the surface and see what others don't see.” ♦ The Daily Coach ♦
[Photo credit: Union IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A Look Back at Our History

Members of the NWCG Leadership Committee got a unique look into the formation of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program at their fall meeting on December 4, 2019. Early contributors to the wildland fire leadership initiative that began over 20 years ago were on hand to share a unique historical perspective.

Panel members included:
  • Paul Hannemann, (NASF), L-480 Steering Group
  • Mark Linane (USFS-retired), IHC representative
  • Jim Cook (USFS-retired), Leadership Sub/Committee co-chair
  • Bill Molumby (USFS-retired), L-480/580 Steering Group
  • Dan Buckley (NPS), Leadership Task Group member
  • Randy Skelton (USFS), Eyes Forward, L-280 Train-the-Trainer, L-380 CMUL
  • Mark Smith, Mission-Centered Solutions
  • Anthony Escobar (USFS-retired), Moderator and early contributor
We would like to thank Orange County Fire Authority for sponsoring the discussion and capturing the video so it could be viewed by all students of fire.
NWCG Panel Discussion from Orange County Fire Authority on Vimeo.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Challenge 83: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge 83: The Art of Leadership

Effective leaders get involved with their operations without micromanaging.
  • Make it a habit to be visible during operations.
  • Lend a helping hand on occasion.
  • Share the joys and hardships with your team.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Be Familiar

sky crane with smoke plume in the background
“The more familiar you are with things that are unfamiliar, the more familiar with them you will become." ♦ Jacko Willink ♦
[Photo: Tallac IHC]

#fireleadership

Friday, December 6, 2019

Challenge 82: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge 82: The Art of Leadership

Effective leaders promote a culture where morale and retention is high, people are committed and performance well.
  • In your journal, list what items create this type of environment for you.
  • What type of environment do your team members need?
#artofleadership

Thursday, December 5, 2019

IGNITE: Leadership Is a Gift

wildland firefighters hiking through the forest

“Leadership is a gift. It's given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it." ♦ General Mark Welsh ♦

[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Read the Book - See the Movie

book coming to life
Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay 
For 15 seasons, I was a dispatcher. My "view" of the fire situation was much different than those of you on the fire ground. I experienced the course of events more like reading a book, whereas those on the front lines were watching the movie. Much of my experience was made up (rightly or wrongly so) in my mind. The storylines included things like plane crashes with bodies still in the cockpit, fires threatening homes and communities, a dead body in a garbage bag found on a dirt road in the middle of the desert, and scanner communications with agents practicing for upcoming operations (maybe even Ruby Ridge). Each and every time, I made up the imagery. Whoever says dispatching is easy never did it.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Challenge 81: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge 81: The Art of Leadership
Leaders set the example.
  • In your journal, write down how you want to be seen by your team members.
  • Conduct an evaluation (could be a 360-degree assessment) to see if your perception matches reality.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: The Undoing of One's Self


Doing nothing for others is the undoing of one's self. - Horace Mann

[Photo: Justin Vernon]

#fireleadership

Friday, November 29, 2019

Challenge 80: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge 80: The Art of Leadership

Leaders should be fit for duty.
  • In your journal, make a plan to:
    • Meditate/reflect daily.
    • Eat well.
    • Exercise.
  • Implement your plan.
#artofleadership

Thursday, November 28, 2019

IGNITE: Giving Thanks

[Image: johnhain]
"Gratitude helps us remember what is good in our lives." - Dr. Robert Schachter, "Mindfulness for Stress Management 
Share your expressions of gratitude here. 

We will start with ours: We are grateful for the support and encouragement we get from our followers. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Message of Gratitude

red candle surrounded by words of gratitude
[Image: John Hain/Pixabay]
"Gratitude helps us remember what is good in our lives." - Dr. Robert Schachter, "Mindfulness for Stress Management 

Share your expressions of gratitude on our Facebook page or Twitter feed. Respond to the similar post.

We will start with ours: We are grateful for the support and encouragement we get from our followers. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Red Cup - Yellow Cup - Green Cup

red, yellow, and green party cups
(Photo: Amazon)
During the 1990s, I taught business education in a jr./sr. high school in a small Idaho town. It was during that time that I took a Dr. Harry Wong. Dr. Wong was renowned for classroom management techniques. One of the techniques I learned from him was the use of colored party cups as a communication technique. (I would see this communication technique years later at our local Brazilian grill.)

Monday, November 25, 2019

Challenge 79: The Art of Leadership


Challenge 79: The Art of Leadership

Effective leaders are good followers.
  • Read Col. Phillip S. Meilinger’s article “The Ten Rules of Good Followership." [http://bit.ly/2o2d5z6]
  • Write the 10 rules in your journal.
  • Share the rules with your team.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: The Virtue of Kindness

wildland firefighters in smoke with sun shining through
“Kindness is the virtue that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]

#fireleadership

Friday, November 22, 2019

Challenge 78: The Art of Leadership


easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge 78: The Art of Leadership

Successful leaders lead change to leave the organization stronger than they found it.
  • Are you or have you been an agent of change?
  • Is the organization stronger because of your efforts.
#artofleadership

Thursday, November 21, 2019

IGNITE: In Their Shoes

“Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place." ♦ Daniel Pink ♦
[Photo: La Grande IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

DANG ANGER DANGER

(Photo credit: Brian Childs)
[This blog first ran on December 22, 2015.]

Much of what we are shown our culture about leadership is depicted usually by a person which you don’t want to disappoint. We’re shown examples of leadership from many sources directly and indirectly. The common representations are a leader that has a short fuse ready to blow up and belittle our esteem being so easily triggered by our mistakes. This is what is accepted as normal and all we can expect. Is it effective? Somewhat, but is it ideal?

Monday, November 18, 2019

Challenge 77: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge 77: The Art of Leadership
Reflect on the last year by reviewing your journal.
  • Do you feel you have advanced your leadership art?
  • Are there unfinished challenges you would like to complete?
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Learn from Others

forest fire at sunset
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.” ♦ Matthew Syed, “Black Box Thinking” ♦
[Photo credit: Devil's Canyon Veteran's Handcrew

#fireleadership

Friday, November 15, 2019

Challenge 76: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge

Challenge 76: The Art of Leadership

Leaders lead by example. In your journal:

  • Make a list of the top five attributes you expect your team to exhibit.
  • What behaviors might YOU practice that display the attributes you expect from others?

Adapted from Dan Rockwell’s Leadership Freak blog @ http://bit.ly/2mGKqi7

#artofleadership

Thursday, November 14, 2019

IGNITE: Being Better

sawyer cutting tree
"True leaders do not work to do better than anyone else, they work to do better than themselves. And that's what makes them better leaders.” ♦ Simon Sinek ♦

[Photo: Entiat IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Dressing Up Leadership

(Image by Horst Koenemund from Pixabay)
Most of us learned about liquid density from grade school science experiments.
The physical property of density helps scientists separate liquids. When two liquids are placed in a container, the denser liquid will fall to the bottom. The less dense liquid will rise to the top. (PowerKnowledge - Physical Science)

Monday, November 11, 2019

Challenge #75: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge #75: The Art of Leadership
Bring out the best in others. Dan Rockwell suggests:
  • Participate.
  • Expect more from yourself than you expect from others.
  • Treat everyone the same.
  • Walk around.
  • Always do what you say.
  • Apologize when you screw up.
  • Clarify commitments.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: In Honor of Our Veterans

Wildland Firefighter Monument @ NIFC at sunrise
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ♦ John Fitzgerald Kennedy ♦
[Photo: Nicole Oke/NIFC]

#fireleadership

Friday, November 8, 2019

Challenge #74: The Art of Leadership



Challenge #74: The Art of Leadership
Self-care is vital for a leader’s well-being.
  • Spend 30 minutes to 1 hour disconnected from electronic devices.
  • Engage is physical activity.
  • Spend time with friends and family. 
#artofleadership

Thursday, November 7, 2019

IGNITE: Assistance Is Okay

firefighters building or repairing fence

It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you could do alone. ♦ Andrew Carnegie ♦

[Photo: La Grande IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

It Is About You

tents in a mountain meadow
(Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC)
I recently took an emotional intelligence in the workplace course. My intent of attending the course was to ensure I was passing along the most current information to our followers. Many times these course are less than stellar. Even though I failed at the registration process, the course coordinator allowed me to attend. Little did I know, the course was more about me in the workplace than others in the workplace. This course turned out to be one of the best leadership courses I have attended (and it came with a personal counseling session with the instructor).

Monday, November 4, 2019

Challenge #73: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge #73: The Art of Leadership

Leaders are readers and writers.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Success

firefighters burning from a road
Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
♦ John C. Maxwell ♦


[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]
#fireleadership

Friday, November 1, 2019

Challenge 72: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge 72: The Art of Leadership
Leaders pay forward the good they have received.
  • In your journal, document the good others have done for you.
  • Make a plan to pay forward those good deeds.
#artofleadership

Thursday, October 31, 2019

IGNITE: The Personal and Interpersonal Matter

firefighters standing by the crew buggy
“While leadership as a discipline is very, very important, the personal and interpersonal sides of leadership are every bit as important as the great leadership themes of vision, execution, strategy, and the like.” ♦ Henry Cloud ♦
[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]

#fireleadership

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

If People Matter, Show Them

four smiley faces and one frowny face
(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)
"While leadership as a discipline is very, very important, the personal and interpersonal sides of leadership are every bit as important as the great leadership themes of vision, execution, strategy, and the like." - Henry Cloud, Boundaries for Leaders
I am rarely surprised by the answer I get from our followers when asked, "What is a leaders most important asset?" The resounding answer is "my people." People do matter, and they have a lot to say if only the leader has the ears to hear and the eyes to see.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Challenge 71: The Art of Leadership

easel and canvas with WFLDP logo and challenge
Challenge 71: The Art of Leadership
“We all know the importance of asking for help, but those who achieve big things are the ones who accept it when it’s offered.” – Simon Sinek
  • Write this quote in your journal and make a commitment to accept help.
#artofleadership

IGNITE: Leadership is a Relationship

firefighters on a ridge
Leadership is a relationship between leaders and followers - Kouzes and Posner
[Photo: San Juan IHC]

#fireleadership

Friday, October 25, 2019

Challenge #63 - The Art of Leadership

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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

Challenge 70: The Art of Leadership

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Challenge 70: The Art of Leadership

Making decisions is something all leaders must do.

Read Mike Vangel’s Stanford Magazine article “Nine Tips for Smarter Decision-Making.”

#artofleadership