No, this isn't an article about socialism or ay other -ism that could be construed in that fashion. No, this is about leading and spreading the treasures that we all keep within us for use later: the knowledge, experience, and perspectives of a lifetime of leading others.
I chose to spread my wealth early on. My father, who shared his career with my brother and I, inspired me to lead through teaching, through setting a positive example to others, and through courage to make hard decisions. I saw that training others would not only give me the ability to advance my own goals, but to advance the goals of others. That's pretty powerful stuff.
I happened to be having a Facebook chat with my good friend Chuck Wehrli and he asked me if I had read his latest article on FireEngineering.com, and I had not. So I promised him I'd take a look (that's not to sound reluctant, but honestly, I had a lot going on at that moment) and the next morning I woke, threw on some coffee, and read the piece. To say it inspired me would be an understatement.
I'll let you read it and see it for what it is, because I plan to discuss the findings more in another post, but the thought I wanted to share was that we gain perspectives from others as well as make our own observations and in a lot of moments, an opportunity to share those thoughts come and go. They really are coins we hold in our own treasury, because someday they will prove useful to us and we can "cash those chips". In doing so, those chips may save our lives or the lives of the people we work with. They may gain us a position we desire, or they may open us up to a chance we have desired for a long time. Or they may get us out of a bad situation by having seen what the consequences could possibly be.
I have not seen every circumstance that could occur on an emergency scene, although over 33 years, I have seen a lot of them, and certainly more than someone who has only been on the job for a few months. Conversely, while I have seen 33 years of events, the person with only a few months on the job may have seen one event that would make a difference. We can have the entire puzzle before us, but if it is missing one piece, it isn't complete, and it doesn't provide us the whole picture. That may be a small piece, but it might be a critical piece nonetheless.
Be inclusive and communicate with the people you work with. If you see something to share, share it. Don't be a know-it-all, be a person who has ideas and "sell" them, get others to buy in and embrace them if they are best practices, and be someone others feel like they can share with as well. Wealth is no good sitting in a vault somewhere; it only does good when it is being used, and when you share it, it pays dividends, like a ripple in the water, reaching out to many shores.