Forest Fire Direction: Letting go and directing


Think about the quality of our teams if we manage to reconcile the achievement of objectives and the satisfaction of the workers. This rarely happens, but this goal should match what we all seek. One of the things that a leader can do to create more effective teams is to share control items with their team members.

We often hear the term "micro-management". Very few people respond well to this command structure. Although the leader is ultimately responsible for the team and its actions, command sharing is one of the best ways to lead. Managers and managers are conscientiously required to achieve the goals, but it is not necessary to prescribe the actions of their associates. Allowing our employees to control their own work can be a great way to introduce innovation into the business and train new leaders.

In a command and control environment such as a forest fire, this may seem paradoxical. An example of sharing control is the bias of the action.

A bias for action

(Lead in the Forest Fire Department, pp. 26-27)

The chiefs of the forest fire protection services are not only empowered, they also have the duty to act in a situation that is in our power, even without instruction coming from above.

This empowerment is not intended to encourage freelance work. In a high-risk environment, freelancing is a dangerous and unpredictable element that does more harm than good. In the end, leaders are always responsible for their actions.

A bias for action recognizes the forest fire as an environment in which events do not always go as planned. Sometimes, in an incident, a person may be the only one who knows what needs to be done and achieves it. The weather may not allow to inform the chain of command before an opportunity is lost.

In these critical situations, fire chiefs exercise judgment, act in accordance with the intent of their leaders, work with others, develop and communicate a plan, and inform leaders of the actions to be taken as quickly as possible. possible.

On a chaotic and rapidly developing forest fire, a person taking the initiative can make all the difference to seize and seize an opportunity. Being hesitant, risk averse or undecided may expose firefighters to greater long-term risks and result in loss of time, opportunity, energy and money.

Leadership Challenge in Forest Fires – Fucking A Little Further


Pam McDonald is an editor and publisher for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and a member of the NWCG Leadership subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.