Since the early 2000s, forest fire services have had access to a leadership development program. Prior to the creation of this program, leadership development was likely more dependent on your supervisor's ability to plan your progress, circumstances leading to leadership moments, and other activities outside of work leading to a leadership experience.
The key element in one or the other scenario is the desire to develop leadership traits. The value or lessons of self-leadership are often overlooked or forgotten in discussions about the process of developing leadership skills. Taking a course or choosing a specific leadership element to work on and develop is probably the most common straight line analogy for building leadership skills. This process is valuable and a good way to achieve specific goals, but there are other avenues for leadership development.
Self-leadership lends itself to alternative paths that allow us to strengthen our leadership skills. We know well enough to raise our hands and take on this difficult task or know that it is outside our wheelhouse. We must continue to see these opportunities and evaluate them effectively.
Self-leadership consists of having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, what you will do, and your ability to influence your communication, your emotions, and your behaviors to achieve it. .
In addition to the Forest Fire Leadership Development Program, which provides a framework of planning and assessment tools for leaders and specific leadership courses that prepare you for your leadership role with firefighters, many other opportunities will allow you to gain the experience you are looking for. .
What students can expect from the session:
- Discussions on the prospects of working in a male dominated world – challenges to supervisors, long-term fire barriers, family / personal choices, hands-on work experiences alongside men for management positions.
- Establish a network of women engaged in long-term careers in wildfire management.
- Find mentors who are valuable for career progression.
- Improve self-confidence
- Gain practical leadership experience as RXB2, FIRB, ENGB & FFT1.
- Compare your thoughts with interlocutors facing similar struggles and with those who succeed in fire careers.
"It influenced my ability to learn. I was able to focus on acquiring skills and knowledge rather than managing social approval. "
Check out the PFTC website for more information.
Leadership Challenge in Forest Fires: Digging A Little Further
Thanks to John Wood, asst. UAO / ATGS for the US Forest Service and co-chair of the NWCG Steering Committee, for the submission of this blog.