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Old 11 August 2014, 16:27
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Gettysburg Staff Ride

Has anyone attended this leadership course? I'm a candidate for Fall 2014 as an incident management team member and wanted to get some scoop beyond the official forms.

Thanks,

KP
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Old 6 November 2014, 00:37
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Am here this week with combination Fire and Marine mentors on leadership. Great course. Coordination is through OMNA International, LLC. Contrast leadership decisions of Gettysburg commanders with leadership decisions today.
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Old 6 November 2014, 18:23
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I went on it last year. Well worth it.
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Old 8 November 2014, 15:17
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OMNA? One Man National Asset?
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Old 8 November 2014, 16:25
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I'm sure there are folks here that helped put this concept together, but wanted to share my AAR:

This past week I had the pleasure and honor of attending a course titled L-580: Leadership is Action. Our Type 3 (Regional) IMT was only the third team to be asked to attend in course history. The L-580 course is based on a “staff ride”. Staff rides have been used by the military for years as a way to analyze incidents and events, and to take away critical thinking skills and leadership lessons. This course utilizes both experienced Marine Corps (OMNA International, LLC) and Wildland Firefighter (NAFRI) personnel to review history and pose poignant questions to the group.

The incident focus for the L-580 course was the Battle of Gettysburg. As such, each course attendee was provided read ahead materials about the battle to include the book Killer Angels and recommended to watch the movie Gettysburg. I had never been to Gettysburg before, so the combination of my read ahead knowledge, the guidance of our group mentors, and the shear scope and scale of the battlefield and commitment of both sides was awe inspiring. I highly recommend a trip to this hallowed ground.

I picked up many personal and professional lessons during this trip and wanted to share some of them with you all as we are all leaders at every level. My major feedback to the group was to begin including all-hazards folks as trainees then training cadre, e.g. Health, Police, Fire, etc. Linked here is someone else’s after action review of the course that provides further insight.

LEADERSHIP PRINCIPALS
– Establishing and Maintaining Trust Relationships/Trust Tactics

Power of Influence
- Establishing relationships where others work with or for you because they want to, not because you tell them to
- Work to establish your influence even when you are not there
- Unleash subordinates to maneuver

Implicit Communication
- Do you make assumptions that others know what you’re asking for or do you spell it out for them with clear expectations.
- What is the end state?

Bias for action in the face of adversity
- Do you have the ability to take action and make decisions in the midst of chaos?
- Have you provided others with confidence to do the same in your absence?

Boldness and Risk
- Are you bold/confident enough to affectively handle risk?
- Ways to handle risk (Example in clinical setting)
• Mitigate: Try to prevent risk through planning (wear PPE when treating patient)
• Avoid: Try to completely avoid risk (don’t see the patient at all)
• Transfer: Assign someone else to treat patient (you still own the risk, but share most of it with others)
• Accept: Treat the patient yourself or know the patient is infectious but assign someone anyway

Relentless Opportunism
- You’re either getting better or worse, no in between
- Are you always looking to better yourself or others?

Understand your style of leadership
- Adjust your style based on the situation
- Rely on others

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

Communicate, Understand, Decide, and Communicate
- The first communication is to be open to receiving information
- The next step is to develop an understanding of the information/event/incident
- Decisions must be made, sometimes sooner rather than later
- The last communication is to your team to ensure they share the vision and understand the end state

O.O.D.A. Loop
- Observe: Sit back and observe your people and the situation
- Orient: Orient yourself to the situation or environment
- Decide: Decide what your course of action or inaction will be
- Act: Act based on the information you have
- Restart the process to keep the loop going

Strategic vice Objective Based Leadership
- Leaders understand the “30,000 foot view” of an organization/incident/event
- Strategies are big picture and not specific objectives
- Objectives are developed to support the strategy, then tactics (how to) are developed to support the objectives
- When moving up in an organization leaders must be able to transition from objective or tactic level to strategic level guidance

IMPORTANCE OF CONTINGENCY PLANNING
- Have you planned for the “…and then what?” scenario?
- Following the P.A.C.E. lexicon:
o Primary Plan
• Focused on objectives
• Yields most desirable results
o Alternate Plan
• Fallback that closely supports the Primary plan
• May be less desirable, but still supports Primary plan
o Contingency Plan
• Totally focused on all staff/personnel safety
o Emergency Plan
• Totally focused on individual staff/personnel safety

Continuity and “Paying it Forward”
- Good leaders have trained “two levels up and two levels down”
• This means knowledge and information sharing two levels above you in the org chart and two levels below you in the org chart
• Prepare others for success by empowering them with knowledge
- Consider the “Time Wedge”
o The more time you allow to pass, the less options you may have when making a decision

QUOTES TO REMEMBER
- “Inspect what you expect”
o Even when you allow others to complete a task without micromanaging, it doesn't hurt to check in to make sure they are meeting your leader’s intent
- “Try to be imperturbable”
o To remain calm in all situations
o U.S. Grant, General of the Union Army was said to have this trait. He would whittle wood in the middle of a battle with explosions all around and never get flustered.
o Consider how this can be applied personally and professionally
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