Monday, May 6, 2013

Fire Fighter vs Bricklayer: Don't Allow Yourself to Be Derailed

A few weeks back, I allowed myself to be derailed by people I placed confidence, admiration and respect. Looking back, I recognized that there was always a lot of chaos and swirl cycling around those same individuals.  At the time, I equated it to busy-ness and momentum that comes with running a business. I, too, got caught up in it, sucked in by it and frequently redirected to put out fires. As a result, the job I was brought in to do shifted, as did my focus and confidence in myself.  Lesson learned.

Now, as I stand in a much calmer place, I realize that it was self-generated chaos that allowed certain individuals an opportunity to bring structure to that chaos, providing a type of job security, if you will.  How, then, could the value I bring to the table be truly realized or even recognized, when the main focus was on the fire in the room?  Hmmm. When someone arrives with a fire hose to put out the fire, it's hard to recognize the bricklayer strengthening the foundation of the building.

6 Key takeaways:
1. Know what kind of leader you are following.  A fire fighter or a bricklayer.
2. Know what leadership truly values.  A fire fighter or a bricklayer.
3. Decide which one you are/want to be. A fire fighter or a bricklayer.
4. Share your successes along the way. Tell someone. It's easy for you and leadership to get distracted by frequent fires.
5. Have frequent meetings with leadership so you build not only a stronger relationship, but value. Don't let a secondary person do that on your behalf. You never know what is being said, or not said.
6. Constantly build your own foundation. Build your own network and skills so you realize your personal value proposition.

Blessings ~

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