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

Comments
George Lawson
Leadership That Matters, Part 2
If these words do not lead those reading it to action, then there is a comprehension issue.. Thanks Chief..
2015-03-05 22:21:00
Smooth Bore Tip
Limited Career Choices – My Brother’s 50th
I'll hit the big 50 on the 16th! Happy Birthday to your Bro.
2015-03-03 14:34:00
Mick Mayers
Pay To Spray Redux
Hey, Dan- Not offended. Like I said, the issue I was trying to relate is that while we (you and I and many other firefighters) have a strong moral obligation to help others, we see this as being very wrong. I agree it is wrong. What would be nice is if community leaders learned a…
2015-02-26 02:45:00
Dan Entner
Pay To Spray Redux
Mick, I agree with everything you have said here! What I dot get is why is there an issue if Loon lake was not called upon to respond. What I am assuming here (yes I know what that means) Is Loon Lake was called out and refused. We see this two different ways here and…
2015-02-25 21:35:00
Mick Mayers
Pay To Spray Redux
Dan, There is no "spin" being put on this article. Please consider these two facts: 1) Beginning with duty to act: While I am not familiar with Canadian laws, I would bet negligence is not that much differently defined as in the laws of the United States. Lake Loon Fire Department did not have a…
2015-02-24 23:53:00

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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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