Friday, January 31, 2020

Challenge #3 - 2020 WFLDP Campaign

challenge and logo for 2020 WFLDP campaign

2020 National Wildland Fire Leadership Campaign: Command Presence - Do you know who you are?
Challenge 3:
Responding with “deliberate calm” is important during an emergency.
  • Read “Command Presence – Leadership in Emergencies” by Timothy Cummings. (
#fireleadership #2020WFLDPCampaign #commandpresence

Thursday, January 30, 2020

IGNITE: Space for Transformation

firefighter monitoring back firing operation
Transformation is possible if we create the space for it to happen. ♦ Shaka Senghor♦

[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Mann Gulch and the Missing Links

view of Mann Gulch from the jumper plane

The Mann Gulch tragedy is an event every wildland firefighter should study in depth, but few do. The lessons gleaned from that one incident altered the course of wildland fire. While conducting research for the 2020, I came upon a statement by Sylvia Ann Hewlett about "gravitas" (how you act) that flung me headfirst into today's blog on the missing link from Mann Gulch—Wag Dodge lacked gravitas, the very essence of  command presence:
These qualities connote gravitas, that weightiness or heft that marks you as worth following into the fire. - Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Executive Presence

Monday, January 27, 2020

IGNITE: Taking Care of Your People

firefighter in the forest fighting fire
Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don't want to. ♦ Richard Branson ♦
[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]


Friday, January 24, 2020

Challenge #2: Command Presence - Do you know who you are?

weekly campaign challenge and logo

Challenge 2:
#fireleadership #2020WFLDPCampaign #commandpresence

Thursday, January 23, 2020

IGNITE: Use of Power

firefighters walking through smoke in the forest
The less explicitly leaders rely on power to accomplish tasks, the greater greater their power actually is. - Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 38
[Photo: Feather River Hotshots]


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Crazy Horse - Never Forget Your Dreams

Crazy Horse Memorial, the mountain
(Credit: Wallace family, 1981)
About 35 years ago, my parents packed up the family and headed for the hills—the hills of South Dakota to be exact. The trip seemed to take forever and as majestic as the Badlands and Mount Rushmore were, one thing stuck in my mind—I didn't see an Indian chief on a horse at that other mountain a few miles down the road from Mt. Rushmore. I have had a fascination with the Crazy Horse memorial ever since.

Monday, January 20, 2020

IGNITE: Do What Is Right

firefighters on ridge with sunset in the background
The time is always right to do what is right. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

[Photo credit: Union IHC

#fireleadership #dowhatisright

Friday, January 17, 2020

Challenge 1 - 2020 WFLDP Campaign

2020 campaign - box with challenge and logo
Challenge 1:
  • In your leadership journal, define “command presence.”
  • Watch James Scouller’s “What is presence?” video @
#fireleadership #commandpresence #2020WFLDPCampaign

Thursday, January 16, 2020

IGNITE: Be at Peace With Your Imperfections

sunrise/sunset with smoke/wildland fire in the area
To be authentic is to be at peace with your imperfections." - Simon Sinek

[Photo credit: Kari Greer/USFS]
#fireleadership #authenticity

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Same Story, Different Chapter—The Hinckley Fire

"Under a Flaming Sky" book cover

The year is 1894. The month was September. The place was Hinckley, Minnesota. 
On September 1, 1894, two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping more than two thousand people. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. As termperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, the firestorm knocked down buildings and carried flaming debris high into the sky. Two trains—one with every single car on fire—became the only means of escape. In all, more than four hundred people would die, leading to a revolution in forestry management and the birth of federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires. (Under a Flaming Sky - The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Same Story, Different Chapter—The Great Boston Fire of 1872

picture of Boston following the fire
(Boston Fire from Washington & Bromfield panoramic. John Adams Whipple - Boston Public Library)
"America's cities were burning down." - Bruce Twickler

The date was November 9, 1872. The place is Boston, Massachusetts. Fire Chief Damrell was a student of fire and had visited Chicago following the great fire. What could have gone wrong?

Monday, January 6, 2020

Command Presence: Do you know who you are? - 2020 National Wildland Fire Leadership Campaign

What is Command Presence?Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 20

More than anything else, the leader’s command presence sets the tone for the command climate. Command presence is how we present ourselves to others, the myriad of personal attributes and behaviors that communicates to others that we are worthy of their trust and respect. 

IGNITE: Making a Difference

fire at dusk

“Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader. They set out to make the difference. It is never about the role—always about the goal.”
Lisa Haisha, Life Coach

[Photo: Kyle Miller/Wyoming IHC]


Thursday, January 2, 2020

IGNITE: See the Light

Firefighter watching a helicopter drop

“Great leaders are optimists. This is not the same as being positive. Positive is finding the light in the now; optimists see the light always." ♦ Simon Sinek ♦
[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]