Building a Foundation For Success
There have been a lot of discussions lately about all of the information and science towards firefighting. Fire service professionals, article writers, and web-sites are constantly reminding us of staying on top of our game in regards to strategy and tactics. I would like to discuss the 800 pound halligan in the room! Let’s talk about the characteristics of building a strong personal foundation using terms such as US, WE, and YOU!
In the fire service we hear the words dedication, initiative, respect, knowledge (etc.) and all of those canned motivational phrases but are we truly listening? Let’s examine:
This in my opinion is the most sacred attribute of them all. Without dedication nothing can or will be accomplished. WE as firefighters must maintain a constant dedication not only to our organization and crews but most importantly ourselves. YOU need to stay focused physically and mentally not just for the benefit of yourself but for all of US!
Think about it, be about it, and then do something about it! Far too many times it becomes easy for US to sit back and complain about the way things are or not being done within the organization. I was always taught that if YOU are going to bring a problem to the forefront, there better be some form of a solution to offer up, otherwise you are just bitching. As far as I know the fire service hasn’t instituted a draft for your service, WE all have chosen to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Let’s take the initiative and leave the fire service in better shape than which we found it.
Knowledge is power, or as I like to say knowledge is an investment. It takes a considerable amount of time and energy to build and continue to strengthen the foundation. When YOU make the conscious decision to acquire knowledge you have made an investment for the benefit of all of US. The best action that WE can accomplish is to pass along the information so all in the fire service can learn and pay it forward.
This is an attribute that requires a lot of hard work. It is never given by others lightly, but once it’s earned YOU can accomplish almost anything that you set your mind to. Respect is a two way street in which all of US must travel on. Regardless of your rank or role, respect must be given all the way up and down in the organization or WE are all destined to fail. Above all else, have respect for yourself.
These are just a few of the building blocks to ensuring a strong personal foundation. It takes a considerable amount of time and energy to build upon properly. We must always check the foundation for cracks or weaknesses and repair them as best we can. Strong foundations are always level. That means that we should strive to achieve proficiency in all aspects of its strength. Make sure all the blocks are built or developed equally.
Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.
– Saint Augustine