firefighter leadershipYou may find yourself putting out flames at work, but you can take solace in knowing that certain business moves you use are standard practice for firefighters… In this article published on Inc, Josh Linkner discusses powerful strategies we can borrow from firefighters. These tactics pay off in both a world ablaze, and the world of business. Linkner’s interviewee – Chris Poisella, ex-department lieutenant and corporate executive – offers us his seven step strategy:

  1. Train
  2. Pre-Plan
  3. Assess
  4. Plan
  5. Arrive & Reassess
  6. Act
  7. Debrief

Let’s focus on the first phase of this strategy, as I feel training is often neglected, forgotten, skipped, overlooked, or rushed through in the professional world.


Training is crucial. Thorough training can turn coal into a gem. Careless training is reactive. Partial training leads to mistakes. Negligent training doesn’t produce leaders. In a sense, without proper training you’ll be lighting fires in the workplace… fueling flames that you’ll have to put out. Come on…admit it…when it’s crunch time the first thing that is compromised is training. The five day education becomes three days because staff is needed on the floor. Or the trainee actually is working a full position/section instead of training because the shift spirals out of control…Let’s stop to think about this…what would happen if the fire chief did that? Lives would be lost. I don’t want to compare service in a restaurant to the work of a firefighter who risks their lives on a daily basis, but we can borrow from their urgency of always staying focused on what leads to long term success.

What Linkner and Poisella further point out is that training is a constant. It can, and should, be performed throughout a career. There are long-standing traditions in the hospitality industry (the way food is prepared, the way tables are set, etc.), and there are changing skills and techniques (new point of sale technology, changing regulations and codes, etc.) These changes cannot go neglected, or you’ll find yourself behind the curve. Maintain customs that are integral to your business, but allow room to train and adapt for industry changes.


Thank you to all of the men and women who risk their lives to keep us and our loved ones safe.

RIP Joseph Graffagnino, Engine 24, Ladder 5


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