2020 Wildland Fire National Leadership Campaign - Do You Know Who You Are?

2020 campaign banner - Do you know who you are


The theme for the 2020 Wildland Fire Leadership Campaign is “Command Presence: Do you know who you are?”


The campaign is an opportunity for personnel at the local level - whether collectively or through self-development - to focus on leadership development activities relating to the national campaign theme.


  • To promote leadership development across the wildland fire community disciplines.
  • To provide an opportunity and resources that can be used for leadership development at the local unit level.
  • To collect innovative leadership development efforts and share those efforts across the community.

End State:

A culture that creates and shares innovative leadership development efforts in order to maintain superior leadership in the fire community.

Dates of Campaign:

Any time between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.


All wildland fire personnel - line-going and support.


The campaign is flexible. Local units or teams may use or adapt any or all materials found on this website or posted on our social media platforms or develop a program or activity of your own spotlighting the campaign theme. Campaign coordinators are encouraged to craft the campaign to the needs of the local unit and team. Innovation should fuel your campaign delivery: workshops or tailgate sessions, to kick off staff meetings, as a team activity or self-directed, etc.

2020 Campaign Activities

Challenge #1

  • In your leadership journal, define “command presence.”
  • Watch James Scouller’s “What is presence?” video.

Time: 8:43

Challenge #2

Challenge #3

Responding with "deliberate calm" is important during an emergency.

Challenge #4

Select a leader to monitor for a week.

  • In your journal, make note of things that add to or detract from his/her command presence.
    • Avoid the temptation to observe only detractions.

Challenge #5

Challenge #6

Leaders are readers.

  • Read Amy Cuddy’s book “Presence."
  • Take notes in your journal.

Challenge #7

Leaders with good command presence are calm and collected during stressful situations.

  • Research the concept of mindfulness.
  • Watch Daniel Goleman videos or read his books/articles on the subject.
  • Take notes in your journal.

Challenge #8

Command presence is deeper than charisma.

  • Watch James Scouller speak on the topic:
  • Take notes in your journal.

Challenge #9

Appearance affects command presence to a degree.

Challenge #10

Leaders with effective command presence are prepared and stay calm during chaos.

  • Ensure each team member’s contact information is up to date and readily available.
  • Conduct a pre-mortem drill to ensure notification processes work quickly and efficiently.

Challenge #11

Self-awareness is a critical and powerful first step in developing command presence.

  • Take the time to determine what you want your presence to convey.
  • Use your journal as a place to capture your thoughts.

(Adapted from The Power of Presence by Kristi Hedges)

Challenge #12

Leaders with effective command presence show empathy.

  • Watch RSA’s adaptation of Brene Brown’s talk on empathy.

    Time: 2:53
  • In your journal, write the definitions of "sympathy" and "empathy." Describe cases when each is appropriate.
  • How can you practice empathy with regard to the present COVID-19 pandemic?

Challenge #13

Effective leaders are willing to address negative thoughts that may be affecting their leadership.

  • In your journal, list your negative self-talk.
  • Develop a plan to address each barrier.

Challenge #14

Effective leaders know themselves and their team.

  • As an individual and with your team, complete the “Values Exploration” exercise found on our blog.
  • Write your values in your journal.
  • Post team values where all have access.

Challenge #15

Teams know when their leader is authentic.

Challenge #16

Effective leaders know their strengths and how to use them.

  • Take the VIA Institute on Character’s free strength survey. (https://www.viacharacter.org/).
  • Write your strengths in your journal; list ways you can use your strengths to build your command presence.

Challenge #17

Effective leaders are artful in perspective taking.

  • Watch Daniel Pink speak on attunement @ https://youtu.be/TP81PQ0vlaI

    Time: 2:54.
  • In your journal, write the definitions of “introvert,” “extrovert,” and “ambivert.” Which fits you best and how you can better the art of perspective taking?

Challenge #18

Effective leaders are about "we” not "me."

  • Create a psychological safe environment for your followers.
  • Read Amy Edmondson’s book “The Fearless Organization – Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.”

Challenge #19

Effective leaders are transparent and encourage follower input.

  • Assess a current situation.
  • Do you have a written plan for the situation?
  • Ensure your followers understand the plan and provide input.
  • Revise the plan as needed.

Challenge #20

Effective leaders know how to respond to a crisis.

Challenge #21

Building trust is key in effective leadership.

  • Watch Kerwin Rae discuss calm assertiveness. (https://youtu.be/dxFhoSAyxAU)

    Time: 3:29.
  • Practice using calm assertiveness to build trust. Journalize about your effort.

Challenge #22

Leaders with good command presence take responsibility for their actions.

  • Watch Governor Cuomo respond to closing businesses during the pandemic. (https://youtu.be/f2Tqfn3YV2E)

    Time: 2:31
  • In your journal: Am I taking responsibility for my actions and decisions?

Campaign Archive

2018 campaign bannerNo 2018 Reference Guide - No awards given for 2018

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