Thursday, November 20, 2014

Food for Thought - Balancing Risk


Leaders balance the risks against the potential gains of any decision and action. – Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, page 10
Leaders balance the risks against the potential gains of any decision and action. – Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, page 10
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2014 Lead by Example Award Deadline Approaching

Lead by Example Award promo

Time is running out to nominate an individual or group for the Paul Gleason Lead by Example award. The deadline is December 31, 2014.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting to Know You



"We're really good at talking about material things, but we're really bad at talking about emotions. We're really good at talking about skills and safety and health; we're really bad at talking about character. Alasdair MacIntyre, the famous philosopher, said that, 'We have the concepts of the ancient morality of virtue, honor, goodness, but we no longer have a system by which to connect them.'"
New York Times columnist David Brooks uses a bit of humor to talk about a topic many avoid--humans as social creatures who are guided by our emotions. Talking about human nature and emotion can be difficult if you are not willing to open your mind and to be a bit vulnerable in the process. Humans are social creatures and emotions play a big part in our decision-making processes. Have you taken the time to know yourself--really know yourself and how your emotions provide a framework for the decisions you make?

Video Highlights

You are challenged to watch Brook's TedTalk video "The Social Animal" in its entirety. Here are a few highlights:
  • "People learn from people they love."
  • "Emotions are at the center of our thinking."
  • "Reading and educating your emotions is one of the central activities of wisdom."
  • "We're social animals, not rational animals. We emerge out of relationships, and we are deeply interpenetrated, one with another."
Growth Tools
  • Mindsight - the ability to enter into other people's minds and learn what they have to offer.
  • Equal poise - the ability to have the serenity to read the biases and failures in your own mind.
  • Metis (street smarts) - The ability to pick out patterns in an environment.
  • Blending - ability to blend concepts together
  • Limerence - drive or motivation.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Food for Thought - The Task of a Leader


The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. – Henry A. Kissinger

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. – Henry A. Kissinger
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Feed Your Eagle

Soaring eagle and howling wolf
(Photo credit: Thinkstock - eagle, Tom Brakefield; wolf, Jupiter Images)
The trials and tribulations we endure mold us into the leaders we will become. Retired General Charles Krulak, 31st Commandant of the Marien Corps, shares his stories in order for us to fully understand the importance of integrity, loyalty, and loyal dissent and his formation as a leader. (Krulak was a Lt. General at the time of this video.)






What does Lt. General Krulak's story have to do with wildland fire and leadership? It has everything to do with fire leaders.  We'll paraphrase his advice using excerpts from Leading in the Wildland Fire Service:

"Once we commit to becoming leaders, our focus is no longer ourselves. Fire leaders assume the serious responsibility of putting others into harm’s way and for making decisions that profoundly affect citizens, communities, and natural resources. (p. 6)

People matter. "The wildland fire service appraoch to taking care of people encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Because duty can take our people into dangerous situations, fire leaders reciprocate their loyalty by looking out for their safety and well-being in all circumstances." (p. 45)

"Wildland fire leaders demonstrate moral courage by adhering to high ethical standards and choosing the difficult right over the easy wrong. We avoid eithical dilemmas by directing team members to operate in ways that are consistent with our professional standards and by directing them only to actions they can achieve ethically." (p. 63)

"Leaders are responsible for the decisions they make and for the actions they take. This responsibility also means that fire leaders are accountable for their teams--for the decisions they make and the actions they take based on the leader's intent provided to them." (p. 62)

"To build the kind of healthy and resilient culture required in the wildland fire service, we lead up--holding our leaders accountable, providing unvarnished situation awareness in challenging situations, and offering unbiased and viable alternatives." (p. 48)

THE EAGLE AND THE WOLF

There is a great battle
that rages inside me.

One side is a soaring eagle
Everything the eagle stands for
is good and true and beautiful.

It soars above the clouds.
Even though it dips down into the valleys,
it lays its eggs on the mountain tops.

The other side of me is a howling wolf.
And that raging, howling wolf
represents the worst that is in me.

He eats upon my downfalls and
justifies himself by his presence
in the pack.

Who wins this great battle?...
The one I feed.

~ Author unknown~

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge
  • Step up with courage and integrity to lead the fire service into the next generation. 
  • Are your motives pure?
  • "Tattoo" integrity across your soul.
  • Soaring eagle or howling wolf. Which will you feed?
***********************************
("Voices of Experience" is a more up-to-date, longer Krulak presentation with similar vignettes but is presented to an audience of business professionals.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Food for Thought - Integrity & Trust

Integrity is the soul of leadership! Trust is the engine of leadership! – Amine A. Ayad
 Integrity is the soul of leadership! Trust is the engine of leadership! ~ Amine A. Ayad

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Food for Thought - Our Lasting Gratitude

"The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude." ~ Jeff Miller "The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude." ~ Jeff Miller
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Food for Thought - Peer Accountability

Peer accountability is an outgrowth of trust and commitment. ~ Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, page 54
Peer accountability is an outgrowth of trust and commitment. ~ Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, page 54
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We Are Wildland Fire - Honoring Our Veterans



"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~ John F. Kennedy

Friday, November 7, 2014

All I Had To Do Was Lead Them



"They won that war. All I had to do was lead them." 
Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, commander of the 7th Cavalry, set high standards and gave clear commander's intent to his people. He ensured his people were a well-trained, cohesive team. Take a moment to watch this short video as he talks about his service and the battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam war.

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge - Digging a Little Deeper
  • Professional Reading Program Challenge
    • Read Lt. Gen. Harold (Hal) G. Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway's book We Were Soldiers Once...And Young.
We Were Soldies Once...And Young book cover
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)