If You’re Putting Out Fires

putting out fires
Ask why things are burning in the first place. From Hilts uk’ Flickr photostream.

The problem is not that you have fires to put out. No, the real issue is if you have the same kind of problems coming up over and over in your life and business. It’s a strong signal you have poor processes to manage what could be mundane.

The second issue is if you accept the emergencies as normal. Sure, running around putting out fires may feel like you are doing something. But it is also waste. Bigger picture opportunities did not move forward. Instead, the distractions can lull you into thinking you are doing real work.

If you think your business is firefighting, then don’t get frustrated when you are in the same place next year. You signed up for it.

But if you want to be a builder of something great, then don’t accept the emergencies as normal. Get to the root causes. Put in robust systems. Get rid of underperforming employees. Elevate the company standards and culture. Lead.

Fires are about playing defense. You can’t win with just defense.