Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Are We Hard-Wired to Fight?

I am often called the "heart" of most groups with which I associate. My compassionate nature is such that I opt for love over hate. In fact, my husband often refers to me as a "people pleaser." As with nature, I have a balance to my compassionate nature--the side that reflects the following quote:

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

While working through a few recent "fights," I came across this Crash Course episode that may shed some light on why many humans seem "hard-wired" to fight. Much like the Widlland Fire Leadership Development Program references Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" as a foundation to leadership development, I will use this video to discuss human's nature to fight--whether physical or verbal. I challenge you to take the nuggets found within the resources provided and transfer them to your self awareness pursuit as part of this year's leadership campaign The Art of Authenticity. 



Potential takeaways:
  • Aggression is an innate trait in our genes
  • "Choosing sides is the fundamental first choice that a warrior makes..." - Karl Marlentes
  • We tend to protect our kin group and pass on that behavior.
  • There is a sense of transcendence through fighting.

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge - Digging a Little Deeper
  • Are you hard-wired for agression?
  • How is healthy conflict good for team dynamics?
  • What can you do to build team cohesion?
  • Read Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
  • Watch the History channel's documentary The Art of War
  • Gain insight into the positive side of fighting by watching Part Two: War and Civilization
  • Real Karl Marlantes book Matterhorn. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

IGNITE: The Humble Leader


If you blow your own horn to get noticed, you're in the wrong organization. – Strategies for Leadership

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[Photo: Redding Hotshot Crew]

Thursday, January 26, 2017

IGNITE: Communicating Is More Than Talking

Do not think you are communicating just because you are talking. – Unknown

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[Photo: Tatanka IHC]

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Are You Being the Best Person You Can Be?

Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze bust of Aristotle by Lysippus, c. 330 BC.
After Lysippos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Imagine a person who:
  • Always knows what to say
  • Can diffuse a tense situation
  • Deliver tough news gracefully
  • Confident without being arrogant
  • Brave but not reckless
  • Generous but never extravagant
[Source: Aristotle and Virtue Theory]

Monday, January 23, 2017

IGNITE: Ask Questions

It is better to ask some of the questions than know all the answers. – James Thurber (Firefighters resting on a ridge looking on a smoke column)
It is better to ask some of the questions than know all the answers. – James Thurber

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[Photo: Folsom Lake Veterans' Fire Crew]

Thursday, January 19, 2017

IGNITE: The Power of Listening

Why is it so difficult to realize that others are more likely to listen to us if first we listen to them? – Coach John Wooden (Wildland firefighter with drip torch on a flowery slope with downed, burning trees and smoke)
Why is it so difficult to realize that others are more likely to listen to us if first we listen to them? – Coach John Wooden
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[Photo: Baker River IHC]

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"The Un-Comfort Zone"

THE UN-COMFORT ZONE with Robert Wilson
Leadership vs. Power

Mt. Vernon
(Mt. Vernon; photo credit: Pam McDonald)
King George III asked Benjamin West, his American painter, what George Washington would do if he prevailed in the Revolutionary War. West replied, “He will return to his farm.” The British monarch incredulously said, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.” On December 23, 1783, Washington did just that and retired to Mount Vernon – despite the encouragement of many to stay in power. Despite the willingness of Americans to crown him king. Thirteen years later, he would do it once again.

Monday, January 16, 2017

IGNITE: The Truth About Power

Leaders rarely use their power wisely or effectively over long periods unless they are supported by followers who have the stature to help them do so. – Ira Chaleff (Hotshot crew hiking along a ridge)
Leaders rarely use their power wisely or effectively over long periods unless they are supported by followers who have the stature to help them do so. – Ira Chaleff

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[Photo: Kari Greer/USFS]

Thursday, January 12, 2017

IGNITE: An Unbeatable Combination

Followers who tell the truth, and leaders who listen to it, are an unbeatable combination. - Warren Bennis (Sun shining through the smoke of a forest fire)
Followers who tell the truth, and leaders who listen to it, are an unbeatable combination. - Warren Bennis
And vice versa....

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[Photo credit: National Park Service]

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Here a Dot There a Dot...

Businesswoman using touch screen, smiling
(Photo credit: Altrendo Images/Thinkstock)
At its foundation, communication allows us to connect—to express our thoughts and feelings. As a child, I used dots to connect to my friends. We shared DOTS candy and played games like Connect 4, Twister and Eenie Eenie Aye Over (you know, "Send Timmy right over!"). Dots were also used to reveal a picture through dot-to-dot puzzles and actively communicate using Morse Code.

Monday, January 9, 2017

IGNITE: Good Leadership is Never Accidental

Good leadership is never accidental. - Unknown (Wildland firefighter looking at a wildfire)
Good leadership is never accidental. - Unknown

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[Photo credit: Folsom Lake Hand Crew]

Thursday, January 5, 2017

IGNITE: Fools and Power

Power does not corrupt man; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. – G. B. Shaw (lightning starting a wildlfire)
Power does not corrupt man; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. – G. B. Shaw
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[Photo credit: National Park Service, Ranger Erin, Dinosaur National Monument]

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In Their Own Words - Pagami Fire

,

In this "Fire Shelter Deployments: Stories and Common Insights" video, six wildland firefighters tell their fire shelter deployment stories on the Pagami Creek fire in Minnesota on August 18, 2011.

As you watch the video, identify comments that cause you concern (red flags). Write them down to discuss with others.

Lessons Learned
  • When using a lake as a safety zone, expect turbulence that could capsize your canoe.
  • If ditching in a lake, you may suffer hypothermia and be at risk of drowning despite wearing a life jacket.
  • When deploying a fire shelter in water, a perfect seal can limit breathable oxygen and water can break down the laminate of the fire shelter material, especially in turbulence.
A Few Concerns in Hindsight
  • Frustrations with management's closures decisions and terminology ("soft closures").
  • Fire behavior more aggressive than planned. ("Oh, the fire won't make it that far. It's not supposed to be there for a few days.")
  • Water was not a sufficient safety zone. (Hypothemia, breakdown of shelter)
  • Lack of communication with decision makers.
  • Not comfortable with the mission given. Challenged the process.
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center logo with 14 stars around 3 embedded stars)
Forest Service Technology and Development Program logo (TD with flame in the "D")
Thanks to the USDA Forest Service Technology and Development Program and the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center for creating and sharing this video. A special shout out to Chris Kinney, Nancy Hernesmaa, Nancy Moundalexis, Todd Stefanic, Naomi Weckman, Andrea Lund for telling their story.

"Fire Shelter Deployments: Stories and Common Insights" is a program developed by the US Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) that will help you understand what you may experience in a fire shelter deployment. Click here fore additional fire shelter information.

Monday, January 2, 2017

IGNITE: Good Character not Charisma

It’s true that charisma can make a person stand out for a moment, but character sets a person apart for a lifetime. – John C. Maxwell (firefighter facing an wildland fire inferno)
It’s true that charisma can make a person stand out for a moment, but character sets a person apart for a lifetime. – John C. Maxwell
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[Photo credit: Kari Greer/USFS]

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year - Change the World

Happy 2017! I hope that in this year to come,  YOU MAKE MISTAKES, Because if you are making mistakes, THEN YOU ARE: making new things, TRYING NEW THINGS, learning, living PUSHING YOURSELF, changing yourself, CHANGING YOUR WORLD. –Neil Gaiman (Pic of the sun above a smoke-layered sky)

Happy 2017!
I hope that in this year to come, 
YOU MAKE MISTAKES,
Because if you are making mistakes,
THEN YOU ARE:
making new things,
TRYING NEW THINGS,
learning, living
PUSHING YOURSELF,
changing yourself,
CHANGING YOUR WORLD.
–Neil Gaiman

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[Photo credit: Redding IHC, Soberanes (2016)]