The firehouse and factory leaders
While addressing fires is necessary for every business, leader, and team and can even be exciting, constantly waiting for the following fires isn't how we build highly efficient and productive teams.
Which one are you?
The firehouse leader keeps their crew busy cleaning the trucks and the station while they await the sound of the next alarm instead of working in the community to prevent fires.
The factory leader continuously works toward improving the environment and the process to increase production. They think ahead on how they might create a safer and more reliable environment for their crew and the business.
While addressing fires is necessary for every business, leader, and team and can even be exciting, constantly waiting for the following fires isn't how we build highly efficient and productive teams focused on growth.
The software engineer busy working on a list of fires to solve isn't nearly as productive as one putting their thinking hat on to improve the platform of the business.
The team leader who spends his time focused on the whims of the moment isn’t helping his team develop.
A team that waits for instructions and follows orders might sound appealing but is a trap. People and groups that follow orders do just that. They wait for orders and rarely think for themselves. We never get their full potential; it's a waste.
A shift from firehouse to factory leader might be crucial to help us develop a safe environment for our people and build growth-oriented mindsets that help us think beyond the subsequent fire.
Sparknotion – Think Differently.
H/T to Seth Godin for initially writing about clean fire trucks in Small is the New Big.
P.S. These are metaphors; I have the utmost respect for people willing to risk their lives to save others.