Thursday, December 11, 2014



 By Del Albright

Caroline Cornell interviewed Edward Hess, author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization, in Communication World Magazine (Dec. 2014), the voice of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).  The link is below.  I took Mr. Hess's words and just substituted "companies" and "businesses" with our OHV words like Groups and Organizations to show how his wisdom and advice applies to off-road groups as much as it does to today's business world.    

So when you read this really valuable article (link below) about technology and learning, see if this hits you the way it hit me as to how it relates to off-roaders and backcountry recreation groups.  Here are some highlights that slapped me across the face as applying to those of us in the recreational world, especially those in leadership positions.
  • Those groups that best incorporate the science of learning into their culture, processes and practices will be the winners.  Winning groups learn better and faster.

  • That learning environment will be a humanistic, positive, emotional environment that results in high employee engagement—designed to mitigate the two big learning inhibitors, Fear and Ego.  (Note, back in the 80’s the big thing was “Japanese Style Management – known as Quality Circles where the guy putting the widgets together had a huge say in the way the widgets were made.  Factory workers helping designers).

  •           Emotionally we are defensive “thinkers” seeking to protect and affirm our self-image.  Real learning (old dog new tricks) requires optimizing our humility and opening the door to better listening.  Most folks in our organizations listen to confirm we were right in the first place and have trouble suspending judgment while the other person is still talking.  It makes our motivation appear more to look smart than to learn. (Read more on my take on "aerobic listening" here on my website:

  •   Many OHV group leaders have yet to figure out how to be an open-minded, non-defensive, good listener who is willing to subject his beliefs to challenge by others.

  •   One of the big tricks to “being smart” for our organizations is to KNOW what we DO NOT know, learn how to overcome that and learn from our mistakes.
   So I'm curious how this applies to what you've seen in OHV/Recreation groups and organizations, even clubs?  For me, to take this info and build it into our strategic plans, training workshops, business plans, club bylaws, whatever, just the way we do business, might give us a heads up to win more and back-track less.

Good information on how we can get better with using our technology.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Empowering Kids for a Motorized Future



 By Del Albright

Kids in the outdoors -- such a crucial part of the future of outdoor recreation. The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club and about every other enviro/eco organization has a focused youth program designed to get kids outside with an indoctrination towards protecting, preserving but not really "using" our resources. Look but don't really touch. 

Then those of us who love motors and exploring by vehicle have to compete with electronics, video games, ear buds, pods and pads, We have a few OHV groups with great programs for kids, for sure! But I don't think nearly enough. We have to find ways to empower our children to enjoy, use smartly, conserve wisely, appreciate, and yet be able to ensure a future of access for all. 

There is a difference in youth involvement between the various motorized sports.  Dirt bikers get their kids on a machine nearly as soon as the little one can walk.  Hero-worship sets in early for motorbikers too, as their sport is full of champions, races, and heroes.  Plus, the kids can go out and ride before they have a license.

Four-wheelers have a different path for kids.  The kids get to ride; a few might drive under careful supervision in controlled circumstances, but for the most part, for a kid, it's being an "observer" rather than a participant. That doesn't invoke the same commitment and enthusiasm for the sport as a dirt biking kid.

So we have to fin ways to empower our kids, treat them to fun, and show them the excitement, while teaching them our common sense ways of using public lands.    You can good samples of kids programs at,; and other big associations.  Just do a search and see what you come up with for your kids.

If you were to share a group with a great kids/youth program, who would that be?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Volunteer Training VLLS Thank you to Sponsors

Post by RLTC Volunteer Training. Saying thanks to all the great sponsors of the upcoming VLLS training in February near Sacramento, CA.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday -- Freedom For Sale?

Big Sale Today Only -- the American Dream

Are your freedoms being bought?

By Del Albright

This is not about the "sky is falling" or some presumptuous opinion I might have about how our government and economy works.  This is about some facts that will scare you and make you wonder just how much our freedoms are at stake, every day.

Your FREEDOM is for SALE!

RANGE Magazine is a fact-filled, well researched publication that I read from cover to cover every issue.  And the Winter Issue (on sale now) just slapped me upside the head -- again.  I'm reminded of an article I did many years ago called "The Vicious Green Circle" ( wherein I tied things together like The Wildlands Project, Wilderness Study Areas, Buffer Zones, Clean this and that Acts by Congress, Landscape Level Planning, ecosystem management, sound buffers, and on and on. RANGE just tied it all together even MORE!

This Winter issue explains and documents how enviro/eco groups are funded, so closely bound at the hips that you can hardly tell one from the other, in a great article by Dave Skinner titled, "Identify Your Enemies."  Then Michael S. Coffman, Ph.D, gives us the low-down on how rich left-wingers control the U.S. environmental policy in his piece called "Green Billionaires."  You can't imagine the terror these articles inflict on red-blooded, patriotic Americans like us.

If you love America and the freedoms we enjoy, you HAVE to get this magazine and read these articles. The way the basically, same big money supports all these "green" groups and their causes, through grant funding and interwoven boards of directors and funding sources, will shock you to the roots.  

You will recognize many of the "false fronts" and "front men" in the enviro/eco world that always seem so well funded and covered in the media, usually trying to close our roads or lock up our freedoms in some way.  Do you remember Tellico and Trout Unlimited (TU)?  Wait until you see the source of much of their funding and philosophy.  And wait until you see how just a few big rich funding sources grant money to a slug of pseudo-legitimate groups all dedicated to the same goals -- buying your freedoms and closing this country up to all but their own agenda. 

I know there is a lot going on in this world, and we all have a list of priorities; but I stand against this and I will fight to oppose the taking of my freedoms and the locking up of my country to an elite few.

NOTE: these stories noted above will likely be featured on the magazine website within a few days of this blog.
Visit and subscribe to RANGE magazine here:
Or call: 1-800-RANGE-4-U


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Succeed in Volunteerism (and Landuse)

Secrets to Succeeding as a Volunteer

Or any job for that matter...

By Del Albright

Having achieved the rank of Chief in the fire service, as well as being an officer in the military, I would like to share with you the secrets of success from what I've learned, and how it applies to being a volunteer.  It's a simple formula.

Let's say you're young and want to succeed in whatever you're doing, and you are surrounded by hungry competitors, old timers, "bs'ers," know-it-all's, posers, and some wise, old gray beards.  Who do you pay attention and listen to?  How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?  How do you rise above the pack?  Well, the secret is twofold.

First, as I told hundreds of young firefighters who wanted to promote someday, learn to listen.  Listen more and talk less.  That's step one of the formula.  And yes, it takes practice to sort out the good advice from the war stories; but it can be done with a little practice (and experience).  Listen for the little details; listen intently with what I call aerobic listening -- fully engaged communication.  Then jump to step 2.

Step 2 is to ask more and guess less.  Ask good questions and listen.  When in doubt about an assignment, don't guess what you have to do - ASK!  That way you'll be sure to get it right as you're getting it done!  In many assignments the asking can also come in the form of Expectations.  Ask what is expected of you.

If you're the boss of a job or assignment, learn to share your expectations of those following you.  It's simple.  If it makes you smile, write an expectation to achieve it.  If it makes you frown, write an expectation to avoid it.

Here's a little more on Expectations:

Bottom line to success:  learn to listen, then ask more and guess less. Get it right the first time and get further ahead in life faster!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

God Is My Co-Dawg

God Is My Co-Dawg

Reflecting on Veterans Day

By Del Albright

Veteran's Day gives me cause to pause, but honestly I remember and honor all our military all year long.  This year, with our country experiencing such change (ups and downs), it hit me hard how many of us are struggling -- military and non-military alike.

My life has had more than its share of "exploits" including being shot at in three countries, and I can't help but salute all who have served or are serving, as well as their families and friends who also paid a price. 

My off-roading/OHV friends know the term "co-dawg;" it's a respectful way to refer to the person in the passenger seat, also known as riding "shotgun." While I don't make a big deal of it, I'm also not embarrassed to say that God is my "co-dawg."  He has been, and continues to ride with me where ever I am. There is an amazing peace that comes with having such an esteemed co-dawg. 

There are caveats with this partnership, though. He is not going to get every gate for you; He is not going to fix your broken junk; He is not going to give you the exact answer you may be looking for; and He is not going to live your life for you.  All of those obstacles in life are still up to you to solve and live through; but as your co-dawg, He'll help you make the right choices and find the path you were meant to travel.

So my wish for you as I reflect on this Veterans Day is that you find a "co-dawg" who will help you find peace, as well as courage, serenity and wisdom.  I borrowed the Snoopy picture because the message is so strong -- keep looking up.  Keep looking ahead; find your peace; get a good "co-dawg;" and do what you were meant to do in life and do it with gusto!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Magical Words of a Volunteer

"What can I do to help?"  Undoubtedly, in the volunteer world, the most magical and important words you can ever speak.  Heck, in about any situation, even married life, these are magical words that can change the world you live in.  But for volunteer projects, leaders and workers don't always ASK for help.  It has to do with saving face; or not wanting to be a bother; or being afraid to be too pushy; or thinking that someone else should read their mind and do something; or whatever.

So the solution is to pose the question: "What can I do to help?"

When you see someone struggling with a task or project; ask.  When you notice you're not being very productive because someone didn't really give you a job; ask.  When you know someone is behind the 8-ball; ask;  When you can tell someone is way behind on their schedule; ask.   Just put this magic to work -- ASK; "What can I do to help?"