HOW TO ATTRACT: Be Like The Fire Department
Larry Hochman can be found at NO MORE HOLDING BACK.
Winter Storm Alfred hit Connecticut on October 29, 2011.
It was all business! Knocked out power to our house for six days. Some people took almost two weeks to get theirs restored.
Lots of things stand out about the storm. The downed powerlines and trees. People fighting over lines at the gas stations. People coming together.
And the joy of knowing our family had the means to protect itself. Part of the power outage was spent at a world class resort in southeastern Connecticut.
But the part that stands out most to me was Saturday night, about five hours after the snow started. The power had been out for several hours. I had just made a mad dash across the backyard, putting some propane tanks in a clear space where no trees were likely to fall on them.
I stood on the front porch and listened to the storm.
It was already dark, and with no streetlights there wasn’t much to see.
The sound of big, mature oak trees cracking under the weight of the snow was profound. I wondered when one would hit the house, or the power lines near it.
Then I heard the sound of a large diesel engine. Looking to the left I saw a fire engine driving up the block. It cruised slowly past our house.
A telling moment.
The easiest thing for the fire department to do would have been to wait out the storm at the station. They had generators, so they had light and heat.
Not to mention they would be safe from trees and power lines falling all around them.
But that’s not what the fire department does, at least not the one in Bristol, Connecticut.
They cruised the neighborhoods in their big engines, though not nearly as big as the elements that furiously swirled around them.
They were out there as the last line of defense in a very unpredictable world.
They made us all feel a little safer.
Even if they weren’t able to give complete help, knowing they were there gave us a measure of comfort and safety.
That night, when the heat was on, someone positioned themselves as The Big Dog. The Alpha Male.
And it wasn’t out of a desire to be dominant. It was from a desire to protect.
They were willing to take a risk for their community. And in the eyes of the community, they got bigger.
See where I’m going with this?
Whatever your community is, if you’re the one who is willing to do what others won’t, or (using my least favorite word) can’t, you become a GIANT.
Or at least a source of safety and comfort.
Certainly a source of authority.
People are attracted to you.
(Show me any child who isn’t attracted to a fire fighter, or at least a fire engine. For that matter, show me an adult who isn’t either.)
People are willing to follow you.
People are willing to submit to your leadership.
Because you are strong.
And by the way, that community could be a marketing group.
Or it could be a school.
Or it could be a family.
Or a couple.
Or a community of one. Just you.
Showing yourself you are capable…willing to do the heavy lifting.
Not out of the need for recognition or approval.
But because you have it within you.
And you have the energy, desire and compassion to take care of your community.
The recognition will eventually come.
But you won’t need it.
You’ll identify yourself as a hero.
Be like the fire department.
Brave. Tough. Willing to serve.
Be a hero.
If you go down, you go down with glory.
If you stay up, you find new heights of achievement and depths of gratitude.
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Filed under: Business Principles
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