The Perils of Leadership: Making Chief is the Easy Part
by Chief John Buckman
Here is the 6th installment of Chief John Buckman's Leadership Series.....
SACRIFICE: VOLUNTARY OR INVOLUNTARY?
You will only succumb to stress if you are ill-prepared. All the hours spent in preparation will help you make it through your career. You can be just as cool and productive as anyone else in any situation if you approach your life with similar dedication.
Every time you put a dollar in your savings account, you're making a sacrifice. Any mention of sacrifice reminds me of the story told about the gentlemen whose oil well caught fire. He put out an all-points bulletin for assistance. To ensure a heavy response, the oil baron also offered a $30,000 reward to whoever could quench the flames. All the large fire departments in the area sent help. They dispatched their best companies accompanied by their most modern fire fighting equipment. However, none of their trucks could get within 200 yards of the blaze. The heat was too intense.
Finally, the Little Township Volunteer Fire Department appeared on the scene.
They had only one rickety truck equipped with a single ladder, two buckets of water, three buckets of sand, and a blanket. It didn't even come with a hose. When that old truck reached the point where all the others had stopped, its driver didn't hesitate. He kept barreling ahead until he and his crew were on top of the blaze. Little Township volunteers leapt out of the truck, threw two buckets of water and three buckets of sand on the inferno and then beat the fire out with the blanket.
That oil man was so impressed by this display of courage. He gave the driver $30,000 in cash on the spot and asked, "What are you and your men going to do with all that money?"
The driver didn't hesitate. "The first thing we're going to do is get those gosh-darn brakes on that truck fixed."
The lesson here is that not all sacrifices are voluntary. Sometimes circumstances force us to make them. However, in the long run, we're grateful we did.
Next will be part 7 of Chief Buckman's Leadership Series, "CHANGE: PROACTIVE IS BETTER THAN REACTIVE".
For more articles on Leadership, visit Fireengineering.com.
So check back tomorrow.
Until next time....