National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Self-Development Plan

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For Wildland Firefighters...a Lifetime of Learning

No matter how long you work in the wildland fire service, being a successful firefighter means being a student of fire. Along your career path you will have many opportunities to learn. A complete leadership development process will include formal training, challenging field experiences, and your own self-directed learning efforts.

Read the Individual Development Plan (IDP) Guide.

Learn about the different levels of leadership and self-study learning opportunities within the Wildland Fire Learning Portal:

Use the table below as a guide for starting your self-development plan worksheet.

Leadership Level Development Goals

Follower/Aspiring Leader

  • Takes responsibility for personal actions and decisions
  • Becomes competent in basic job skills
  • Takes initiative and learns from others
  • Asks questions and develops their communication skills

New Leader

  • Accepts responsibility, not only for their own actions, but for those of their team
  • Understands organizational structures (ICS and agency)
  • Demonstrates proficiency in job skills as a leader
  • Asks questions in order to learn from others

Leader of People

  • Demonstrates expertise in job skills
  • Develops credibility and reputation
  • Develops own ideas
  • Mentors New Leaders

Leader of Leaders

  • Demonstrates breadth of experience
  • Provides direction in situations with significant consequence
  • Shares ideas for the broader organization

Leader of Organizations

  • Influences organizational decisions
  • Anticipates and plans for future operations
  • Mentors promising Leaders of Leaders for key roles in the organization
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