I have a friend, Tommy the Firefighter. We have been friends since we were eighteen years old and have seen each other grow into leaders. A few years back Tommy and I were talking about problem solving, and he told me about a conversation with one of his early trainers at the firehouse.
Trainer: So there is a fire in the house. How do you get in?
Tommy: Through the door.
Trainer: Door is on fire.
Tommy: Through the window.
Trainer: It’s got bars over it.
Tommy Through the wall.
Tommy: There are people in there to save. Have to get in there somehow.
Think about this conversation that impacted an 18-year-old kid, that he carries as a core belief three decades later and employed to overcome professional losses and health issues.
Have to get in there, flame and fixtures be damned.
There are people to save, even if it is yourself.
Don’t get stuck, fixated on what has happened or in the barriers before you. Go over them. Or around them. Or through them.
Slice the Gordian Knot, and solve the unsolvable with different thinking.
COVID changing how you interact with clients? Adapt yourself to the situation. Can’t shake hands or touch them on the shoulder to establish rapport? How about a microvideo to convey your personality? Share a meme about homeschooling while working. Use a caricature for your avatar, or change your Zoom background to reflect who you really are so that your clients can get your individual vibe and connect with you.
Get in there to save the people.
As Hannibal proclaimed: I will find a way, or make a way.
Make your way in to where you need to be.
Have trouble getting that potential client to pick up the phone? Have your client send a mutual introduction text to the two of you, and hand you off to that person with their full imprimatur.
“What stands in the way, becomes the way.” Marcus Aurelius.
“Innovation is not born from the dream, innovation is born from the struggle.” Simon Sinek.
“”Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get things done.” Jocko Willink
Lead. Adapt and overcome.
Get in there, there are people to save.