Tuesday, January 29, 2019

2019 National Wildland Leadership Campaign Theme - The Art of Leadership

The Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program is pleased to announce the 2019 National Wildland Fire Leadership Campaign - The Art of Leadership.

Task: The campaign is an opportunity for personnel at the local level - whether collectively or through self-development - to focus on leadership development activities relating to the national campaign theme.

  • To promote leadership development across the wildland fire community disciplines.
  • To provide an opportunity and resources that can be used for leadership development at the local unit level.
  • To collect innovative leadership development efforts and share those efforts across the community.
End State: A culture that creates and shares innovative leadership development efforts in order to maintain superior leadership in the fire community.
Dates of Campaign:
Any time between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019.
All wildland fire personnel - line-going and support.
Implementation: The campaign is flexible. Local units or teams may use or adapt any or all materials found on our website or posted on our social media platforms or develop a program or activity of your own spotlighting the campaign theme. Campaign coordinators are encouraged to craft the campaign to the needs of the local unit and team. Innovation should fuel your campaign delivery: workshops or tailgate sessions, to kick off staff meetings, as a team activity or self-directed, etc.
Be sure to follow us on our social media platforms for updates and topics for personal or team leadership development:


Read the following excerpt from Leading in the Wildland Fire Service.

Art of Leadership

Leaders deeply affect people and organizations, both positively and negatively. Accidental leaders, who have little interest or enthusiasm for leadership responsibilities or self-improvement, can inhibit
people’s growth and reduce the effectiveness of their organizations.

Conversely, committed leaders, avid pupils of the art of leadership, can inspire others and make an enormous difference in people’s lives, on the results of the team, and in the progress of the organization.

The art of leadership requires a constant interchange of theory and application. The art also includes being able to view the larger picture—discerning how to turn a weakness into a strength, gauging what is and is not within our control. Leaders constantly balance the known and unknown as well as danger and opportunity to find ways to gain the advantage.

Ultimately, the art of leadership requires successfully balancing many factors in the real world, based on the situation at hand, to achieve a successful outcome.

Occasionally, leaders may be required to provide authoritative, autocratic, tightly controlled direction that requires immediate obedience. But most of the time, leaders inspire, guide, and support their subordinates, gaining their commitment to the vision and mission and encouraging them, within established limits, to perform creatively.

The leadership challenge in the wildland fire service is to influence people to accomplish tasks and objectives under confusing, dangerous, and ambiguous conditions. Leaders balance the risks against the potential gains of any decision and action. Because of the inherent complexity of this world, many times they face morally difficult decisions—with high-stakes consequences—alone, unable to receive guidance from a chain of command.

At these moments, fire leaders rely on values and judgment and apply the art of leadership.

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