User:Brett Wuth/Working Notes/2014-05-06 leadership training plan


Jump to: navigation, search

This page is based on the Lesson plan template.

Use that template to make similar pages.


[edit] Subject

What is this lesson plan about?

[edit] Authors

List who wrote this lesson plan.

[edit] Scope

What is included in this lesson, what's not and why.

[edit] Prerequisites

What should students already know/have accomplished before the lesson is presented.

[edit] Objectives

At the conclusion of this lesson the participants will be able to

  1. identify importance of clear leadership
  2. encourage leadership as a team member
  3. select ethical ways of motivating cooperation
  4. choose a leadership style appropriate to the circumstance

Practice & demonstrate skills

[edit] Time Plan

Total Time: 1 hour 48 minutes (105 minutes) or longer if desired

Time Material


3 min

Introduce topic title

Introduce Instructor

Present Objectives


3 min

To be effective in the field, a team needs to combine:

  • knowledge of the situation and assignment
  • technical skills
  • physical ability
  • equipment
  • decision making
  • coordinated execution

The last two generally require some form of leadership.

But they also require the cooperation of all team members.

Effective leadership is a quality of the team as a whole, not just the team leader.

The team leader needs to know leadership skills, but it's also valuable that team members understands and uses them.


8 min

Reasons to work together

Why do team members choose to cooperate?

Scenario 1: It's the second day of a search for a lost hunter. One of the hunter's friends have been assigned to your team of two trained searchers. After half an hour in your assigned segment, the friend says he figures the lost hunter is in the the next segment and he's going there to search. What could pursuade him to stay with the team?

Group discussion and build list of tactics

Scenario 2: Later the hunter is found. A different team of five trained searchers is sent to help evacuate him. One of the five members is very fit and is soon leaving the rest behind in his enthusiasm. What could pursuade this person to stay with the team?

Group discussion continues to build list of tactics


5 min


What are team members wanting when they are part of an incident?

  • know they are safe
    • protection from getting hurt
    • protection from being blamed
  • know they are helping to accomplish the mission
  • comradeship
  • develop skills
  • glory/pride

Relate to tactics built previously. Are any tactics address other wants?

Discuss role of glory/pride in SAR.

Not enough that members are safe/acommplishing, they need to know they are safe/accomplishing.

Leadership is developing coorperation through addressing the team members' needs and wants.

When does this become manipulation?

  • not in member's own best interest
  • providing false assurance


7 min

Break up into groups of 3 to 5. Deliberately do not assign group leaders.

Challenge: Develop as many tactics as possible to encourage cooperation for these scenarios.

Scenario 3: A team is asked to search along a river's edge. The river is swollen, brown and there are several trees floating down it. One of the members wonders if the bank is undercut. The TL feels it's safe as long as no one gets too close to the edge. The others look uncertain.

Scenario 4: On the second day of a search for a young girl missing from a campground, you're asked to lead a group of 10 spontaneous volunteers in a type 3 search of the brush just outside the play area. Some team members question whether it's a waste of time because they would have heard the girl calling.


7 min

Bring groups back together. Review answers. Relate them to wants.


  • know they are safe
    • protection from getting hurt
      • Scenario 3: review safety procedures; let team members know your experience level
      • Scenario 4: discuss hazards, proper clothing
    • protection from being blamed
      • Scenario 3: "Anyone can call a halt, and we'll pull back." -- no blame
  • know they are helping to accomplish the mission
    • Scenario 3: Describe why searching this area
    • Scenario 4: why is this area being searched; what might be found; what it means if no clues are found
  • comradeship
    • Scenario 4: tell a little about your self; get to know individuals' names
  • develop skills
    • Scenario 3: Give synopsis of how to judge working at water's edge
    • Scenario 4: Describe what Type 3 means and how to do it
  • glory/pride
    • Scenario 3/4: At the start, thank them for being willing to help out


8 min

Discuss groups' experiences just working on the last exercise.

Did the group have a leader? Who wrote things down? Who relayed what the group had decided?

Do you always need a leader? (not always, not necessarily in classroom setting)

Should there be a team leader during an incident response? (yes)


  • efficient decision making and coordinated execution

(time critical)

When teams are formed at the CP, the overhead team should assign who is the TL. They can ask for your recommendation.

Sometimes they forget. Ask "who's in charge?" whenever it's unclear.

For the remaining exercises, when we break up into groups, please quickly choose a leader.


5 min

Leadership Styles

  1. Autocratic
    TL makes decision, gives orders
  2. Bureaucratic
    TL relies on polices, procedures and rules
    TL refers ambiguous or difficult decisions to supervisor
    TL gives direction to members
  3. Consultative and Delegating
    TL seeks input of skilled, experienced members
    TL makes firm decision
    TL delegates authority to members
  4. Democratic
    TL facilitates cooperative discussions
    TL has only a single vote
  5. Consensus
    TL facilitates cooperative discussions
    Everyone has a veto to any plan
  6. Laissez-Faire
    TL provides no direction
    Each member acts as they see best


5 min

Break up into groups of 3-5; assign team leaders

Split the leadership styles between groups.

Each group to list 2 advantages, 2 disadvantages for each of their styles.

Leave the review of answers until after the next activity.


3 min

Describe SAR scenarios where leadership is important.

Scenario 5: A team of 4 ground searchers on a real incident reach the start of their segment. The trail crosses what is currently a fast flowing full but narrow stream in heavy woods. Wading could result in a fall with uncertain consequences. There are some rocks in the middle of the stream that if jumped upon could avoid the water. How should they deal with the stream?

Scenario 6: During a mock search for what is supposed to be a responsive subject, a team of 3 reaches their segment. Part of it is wide-open sunny with high grass. It will take all of their alloted time to search that portion. The smaller part is a rolling hill with heavy trees. That part will take about half their time. In what order should they perform a type 2 search?

Scenario 7: 6 SAR members have shown up at the SAR group's entry in the local parade. Besides the Mobile Command Post, equipment trailer and truck, one member has brought a personal quad that could pull the rescue trailer. One of the members asks whether we need special permission to drive an Off Highway Vehicle on the parade route.


5 min

Join groups together. Do not assign overall leader, to bring out the next point.

In each scenario, what are the best leadership styles to be applied? Rate the styles from most to least appropriate.

(Be very clear about this objective. In previous runnings, students were confused.)


5 min

Review student's answers of advantages and disadvantages of each style.


  • + quick
  • + provides structure
  • - members don't think for themselves
  • - members don't own decisions
  • - decision no better than the leader


  • + clear cut well-understood process
  • + highly accountable
  • - hide-bound; doesn't adapt; work can be inefficient
  • - reliant on outside supervision

Consultative and Delegating

  • + distributes work load
  • + fosters members' investment
  • - slower
  • - requires skilled members


  • + fosters members' investment
  • + all ideas heard
  • - no accountability -> finger pointing
  • - slow
  • - can create factions


  • + fosters members' investment
  • + all ideas heard
  • - produces only lowest common denominator
  • - can easily stalemate
  • - creates peer pressure


  • + requires no leadership skills
  • + everyone works to their own strengths
  • - often working at cross-purposes; wrong assumptions
  • - no accountability -> finger pointing


5 min

Review student's answers to which styles are most appropriate to each scenario.

Each situation can be different.

The team leader should adapt to the style called for by the situation.

For safety decisions, autocratic is often necessary/best.

For mission success decisions, consultative and delegating is often best.


3 min

Joining teams

What happens when teams are brought together?

What happened when the two groups came together to prioritize the styles?

This is a problem we hear often in the critique. Teams are brought together and no one is overall in charge.

Example: A medical team is brought in to where a search team has found the subject.

It often happens when we're assisting a team from another service (e.g. Emergency Service). They're using Laissez-Faire because everyone knows their roles so well. Our team doesn't know which of their's is the team leader.

Ask "who's in charge?" if unclear. Two TL's should meet and decide who is overall in charge. Can be resolved very quickly.


30 min

Team Exercises

Break out a team of 5-7. The rest can observe and comment later on leadership techniques used.

Exercise 1: Bayou Signal - Imagine that the team is has survived an overturn of their swamp craft and an aligator attack in the bayou. They've made it to an area of ankle-deep water (the training room) with clear cover -- no trees. They have with them a rope (provide) and anything that they've actually brought with them (disqualify anything designed as a signaling device or hazardous). Treat everything else in the room (tables, chairs, etc.) as bushes that will blend into the background. Using the equipment provided, create the best signal available for a search plane, while the group will be creating a shelter on drier ground near by but under the tree cover.

Exercise 2: Toxic Waste - Fill a bucket (old helmet) with strips of flagging tape (any loose objects) and place on the ground on one side of a table. The flagging tape represents a toxic (radioactive) substance. The team must move it up over to the other side of the table where it can be contained. No one can be within 2m of the radioactive material or they loose the use of the body part (limb, eyes). Provide them with a SAR ready pack and a few other SAR items if you think they may be needed.

Extension: Once they make it to the other side, confiscate any items used and ask another team to bring the material back.

Exercise 3: Human Knot - Review a simple figure-8 knot. Provide 3 short lengths of cord. Select 4 of the team members to be make up a simulated longer cord like this.


People hold the cord ends with each hand (people on the ends use only one hand). They must not let go. Tie a figure-8 knot in the center (where CORD is in CAPITALS). The other team members can help in any way. E.g. by pulling cord loops open for someone to walk through.


10 min

After the exercise is complete, discuss the leadership techniques used.


Repeat with different groups as time allows.

[edit] Aids

What materials are needed or useful in presenting this lesson.

[edit] Question bank

List of questions suitable for an review/exam of this section.

See Question bank

[edit] Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the questions that students typically ask. Include the answers.

[edit] Feedback

When has this lesson been presented. What was the feedback.

[edit] License

What can others do with this lesson?

Copyright © 2014, Brett Wuth. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

[edit] Reference Material

If you need to cite sources, do so here.


[edit] Notes

Any additional notes, etc.

[edit] Objectives

  • TL should ask early about medical conditions of team members (2013-02-23 Mock/Critque/Sug/0022)
  • difference between operational and non-operational situation
  • principles of ICS, chain of command
  • Travelling to the site of a search organized by another team.
    • Who's over-all in charge?
    • What are the responsibilities?
  • Working/integrating with other teams
  • Difficulties in the Field
    • Belligerent searcher
      • local insists on searching outside of the area
      • how does the team leader handle?
    • what are the problems of challenging the person in charge?
    • what do you risk?
    • when is it appropriate to challenge the person in charge?
    • what are ways of handling it?
    • The team leader becomes sick
    • How do you transfer charge?
    • Communications with Overhead Team fails
    • Who is in charge?
    • How to transfer no formal transfer of charge?
  • being visibly in-charge
  • leadership is just one view into team dynamics
  • being a good team member creates good leadership
  • be clear on what the decision is
    • spectrum of clarity: "I think we should", "let's", "I've decided"
  • encourage team problem solving
  • If you must get critical, don't get personal. Talk about the problem, not the person. article: Tips for Team Leaders by Alan Sheehan
  • A good Team Leader is the start of making a good team; but equally, a good team is the start of making a good Team Leader.
  • Leadership breeds leadership. [1]
    • By giving your time to your team mates, you are being a leader, regardless of your role in the organization.
    • Helping your team mates to develop, helps them to become leaders.

[edit] To do

  • (done) Review related training suggestions
  • (done) Read all resource material
  • Read text book material on leadership
    • (done) PCSAR wiki
    • (done) RRTL
    • check for other manuals I may have
  • Identify training objectives
  • search for videos

[edit] Format


  • lecture
  • video
  • role playing
  • group discussion
Personal tools