Tuesday, May 5, 2020

You Have Been Training for This Moment

Hotshot crew participating in sandtable exercise
(Photo: Dan Malia)
As students of leadership, you have been preparing to lead through crisis since you took L-180, Human Factors. As you moved through the wildland fire leadership curriculum, you gained tools to respond to crisis situations—situations like a pandemic response.

For those of you who have taken L-380 and above, simulations were designed to take you out of your comfort zone. Putting you in the hot seat in a controlled environment was a chance to experience a crisis before reality hit. Reality has hit all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping your people safe is always a leader's first priority, but never more so than now. Ensuring your people are protected means their families and their communities are protected. When the complexity involves the human factor, more pressure is placed on the leader.

Now is the time for developing more leaders. We are in this together and together we will get through it. No leader can handle every aspect of pandemic response. We will be adapting our fire response to the virus, not vice versa. This requires each person on the team to be a leader.

So how do you develop leaders when classroom instruction is suspended? The Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program website has a lot of great material. Here are just a few:
Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge - Digging a Little Deeper

Read Blindsided: A Manager's Guide to Crisis Leadership by Bruce T. Blythe.

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