Did you hear grad schools are adding a new course for their MBA programs? They’re taking students to the local fire station and providing training on how to fight fires.

 

Excuse the lame joke. It’s an attempt at addressing the growing phenomenon of ‘fire-fighting’ within teams. Fire-fighting, by definition: The act of having to address something urgent (crisis) that was unexpected and slows progress – rather than focusing on and developing the long-term.

 

Have you noticed lately that some teams see everything that fills their day as a fire they need to fight? When each day is filled with the “urgent” – and not much of the “important” – it’s easy to become disheartened.

 

Help your team make these important shifts:

 

1)      What does it look like to develop the long-term…even in a crisis?

 

2)      The nature of growth requires that we encounter the unexpected. If everything goes as planned, we’re out of business because we didn’t stretch enough.

 

3)      As the CEO of a global organization told me, “We’re using the Pathways to Leadership® tools to become proactive in the reactive.” What does that approach look like for your team?

 

4)      A participant shared: “The energy I have during the day switched when…instead of fighting fires…I used the heat as opportunities I needed to cook-up and develop greater results in the long term.” In your day, what would that look like to evolve from fire fighting…to using the moments of crisis as a device for development?


Do you remember the scene in the movie Matrix, where a child is ‘mentally’ making a spoon float in the air? He explains to Neo (Keanu Reeves), “There is no spoon…it is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself.”

 

There are no fires. (Is it worth considering? It is – if it means we keep our sanity and become better leaders.)

 

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