Vision Quest

So here I am in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida, spending a few days getting my head together by camping and kayaking in lovely Anastasia State Park.  Only the weather is nasty, there's a serious wind blowing in off the ocean, it is raining sideways, and the temperature has dropped enough to be less than comfortable.

I'm not complaining though.  There are things to be done, like a long overdue post to FHZ to talk about things like this.  Things like going out of your way to do something, having plans, and being thrown a whole different set of circumstances just after you have put your mind to doing whatever it is you planned on doing.

Leaders must be resilient.  Leaders can not, for whatever reason, throw their hands up in the air and say, "Okay, things have changed, we can't do anything about it, pack it in, let's go home".  The difference between leaders and the rest of the mere mortals is that when we are faced with adversity, we roll with it.  We adapt.  We come up with a solution.  Or we at least try to look like we know what we are doing, if anything, to provide confidence to those around us, and maybe one of them will pull us out of the situation.

I have constant frustration with "officers" who have a problem and their first course of action is…? If you guessed, "Call the Battalion Chief", you nailed it.  Fortunately my esteemed officers know better.  But there are others.  But my point is that leaders see challenges as just that.  Faced with a changing set of circumstances, they pull things together, they make a sarcastic or funny remark to lighten up the mood, and they pull forward, only this time, harder, to show everyone THIS is the way forward.

In one of my favorite books of all time, "Gates of Fire", Steven Pressfield tells a story about the Spartans trying to decide how to fortify the pass at Thermopylae by building a wall.  The engineers are arguing the wall should be sloped to slow the advancing Persians and to provide a better tactical advantage.  Others argue that the wall should have other aspects to create a better killing field.  While they are arguing, someone looks over and cries out: Impatient, Leonidas, the Spartan King, is picking up a boulder, carrying it to where the wall should be, and putting it down.

When faced with a situation different than what you anticipated, face it down.  Leaders do not permit obstacles to be placed in their way.  They see them, understand them, and overcome them.  They appreciate what resources are necessary to overtake them and they apply the resources appropriately and effectively.  When faced with a problem, don't complain about it, fix it.  Create circumstances that you control and never let the circumstances control you.

  • Jeff Mrwik

    Down in my neck of the woods. That cool weather rolled in this afternoon. Hopefully it will be a little nicer for you tomorrow.

  • Michael “Mick” Mayers

    Got out there today.  Figured I've braved harsher conditions for less payback.  Had a blast.  Apparently tomorrow (Friday) at least the wind will die down a little, but we'll see.  Thanks for reading!

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Michael "Mick" Mayers

Deputy Fire Chief - Operations Division for Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire Rescue and an Emergency Response Coordinator with the United States Department of Health and Human Services  National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
Consider This October 18, 2014
Speak With Real Knowing September 28, 2014
The Part We Forget September 14, 2014
Leadership Derailment September 7, 2014
Got Generational Issues? August 30, 2014
Mick Mayers
Consider This
I appreciate your taking the time to read it and I'm humbled by your praise. Thanks!
2014-10-21 23:48:00
Consider This
Wow, I think you said it all right here "I take my oath seriously and I always offer whatever help I can,..." Well said and absolutely correct!
2014-10-21 20:44:00
Dave Howe
Be Nice – More on Customer Service
Holy cow! I stumbled across this site. This post is right on! I'm sharing...Thanks!
2014-10-02 00:12:00
Mike Richardson
Added Value
You're dead on the mark with this. Our service has always been about what is best for those we serve. If we don't project that value to the citizens we protect, the majority will not have a clear understanding of what we do. Service is our creed, our mission, and our reason for being.
2014-09-24 21:25:00
Colin Fanning
The Roto-Ray: Beauty or Beast?
One of the most important facts we reviewed when deciding on the roto ray purchase was this; With the speeds of traffic on SC 278, by the time people heard the sirens on our fire trucks our light bars (on top of the roof) were out of sight. The roto ray, with its mounted location…
2014-07-25 15:07:00

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Although I am affiliated or employed by certain entities, I in no way speak in this forum or others on behalf of those entities unless I have specifically stated such. Any implication otherwise is doing so contrary to my agreements with those entities. The result is that the observations and opinions by myself or on behalf of Firehouse Zen are not sanctioned by any other entity other than Graffiti Train Sherpa Publications and are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America.

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