Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Outdoor Leadership Summary

Outdoor Leadership Workshop

Here is a quick summary for those that could not attend the GHAC Organiser workshop on Sunday 29th August 2010  and a refresher for rest of us who attended.

Outdoor Leadership is the Capacity to influence others towards achieving common goals with a focus and competency the team would not achive on their own.

LeaderShip Styles - are ways you in which you express your influence on the group

COLT - Condtional Outdoor Leadership Theory (Priest & Gass, 1997) - The Conditional Outdoor Leadership Theory is a new approach to leadership based on applying the appropriate leadership style according to importance of task, group relationship, and level of conditional favorability. COLT Theory divides leadership styles into

Autocratic- complete decision making -high on tasks, low on group relationships, unfavourable conditions
Democratic - shared decision making - concern for task and group  relationship are balanced with somewhat favourable conditions
Abdicratic -  leave the decision to the group - low on tasks, high on group relationship and fully favourable conditions

A good leader knows when to change his style of leadership based on the task  and condition at hand.  The best action of the leader depends on a range of situational factors.

What is expected of a good outdoor leader
  • creditability - he has the required experience. Has been there and done that or has the competence to undertake a task
  • is physically strong with good endurance
  • has technical competence with outdoor skills
  • is intuitive
  • is compassionate and respects team members
  • leads by example
  • Is punctual and maintains timeliness 
  • has common sense
  • has courage
  • is passionate
  • Is safety conscious and responsible
  • Knows First Aid, Rescue and emergency handling procedures
  • is realistic and respects limits
  • communicates effectively and does regular briefings and keeps team informed
  • Is a good listener
  • delegates authority and involves group in planning, decision making and utilizes people skills
  • Keeps a challenge or a goal for every activity
  • Keeps a level of unpredictability and uncertainty in the activity
  • Facilitates group interaction
  • Likes and respects critics and handles critical feedback in a constructive way
  • Manages and addresses conflicts before they get out of hand
  • Has guts to say No
  • Keeps learning and Mentors others
  • un-leaders and becomes part of the group when not on the activity and knows when to use authority.

Qualities and Behavior  an outdoor leader should avoid
  • Being Manipulative and coercive
  • Misinforming team members
  • Being Unrealistic and going over limits
  • Less concern for safety
  • No concern for environment
  • Showing Arrogance
  • Being Abusive
  • Showing Anger
  • Getting into fights verbally or physically
  • Being Egoistic
  • Having special relationships with some members of the group or bonding only with select few.
  • Having access to more privileges then the group members.
  • Asking Team members to do his personal chores.
1) My own experiences and learning's when on the outdoors with Great Hyderabad Adventure Club
2) My observation of other leaders when in the outdoors.
3) Collins Camping and Hiking Manual by Rick  Curtis
4) Outdoor Leadership theory and practice by Bruce martin
5) Effective leadership in adventure programming  By Simon Priest, Michael A. Gass

- Diyanat Ali, Chief Organiser, GHAC

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