Empty Cup

xx IMG_0451 bw redAn influential and very critical consultant came to inquire from the Chief about the amazing things his fire department was doing.  The consultant was constantly on the lecture circuit, telling others how to run their fire departments and second guessing the actions of leaders.

Even with a probie and other firefighters nearby, the Chief personally put a pot of coffee on for the consultant. He then poured his visitor’s cup full and then kept on pouring. The visiting consultant watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup”, the Chief said, “You are full of your own opinions and speculations.  How can I show you enlightenment unless you first empty your cup?”

  • Anthony Correia

    great perspective

  • ironwarrior76 .

    Any credit being given to Bruce Lee for this reference?

    • http://firehousezen.com Michael “Mick” Mayers

      Sorry for not seeing your comment. It predates Bruce Lee- it is a variation on a traditional zen story. But it is just a lesson and I don’t take credit for making it up, just rephrasing it to suit the demographic I am writing to. Thanks for that insight!

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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
Comments
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
bobbyhalton
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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