Don’t Rush to Put Out That Fire

I’m rethinking what this blog might be. I love writing for you, and I’m curious about what you find interesting and useful. Today’s post is an old one, but I am venturing back into writing new posts (as Monday’s of this week was.) If you have ideas about what you’d like to see in this space, please drop me an email!

A client recently had a wonderful insight that I wanted to share. You know how sometimes we talk about “putting out fires” to describe solving urgent problems at work?

My client pointed out that even firefighters take a minute to plan before they get to work. In fact, the planning is built into their process: while they’re traveling to the location, they go over a checklist of what they need to do, and they get briefed on the way.

When we think about “putting out fires,” there’s a rushed, urgent sense to the phrase and the activity it represents. But what if, instead, we imagine a calm, measured approach to handling emergencies? One that includes a breath, a pause, and a few minutes of centered planning before jumping to any action?

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