Stop Firefighting

You’re a wood carver.
You do a great job.
Your work is valuable.
You’ve built a reputation.
People like working with you. They have more requests for you.
New people want to work with you now they’ve seen your work.
The list of requests is growing.
The seeds you planted to grow your own trees have become a forest to manage.
As well as carving the wood.
It’s a good problem to have.
You have support to grow what you do.
You have plans. Not just to deliver more of the same, but to change how you deliver your work. Different trees, different carvings.
You have budget to bring in a bigger team.
The requests keep coming.
It’s a good problem to have.
You’re a victim of your own success, right?!
Just need some headspace to make a plan.
Just need more people to make the headspace.
Just need time to find the people to take the load off.
You were tending your forest.
Now you’re fighting forest fires that keep growing.
If this is a good problem why does it feel out of control?
Just need some more firefighters in here with you.

You make a firebreak.
You control the current fire.
You stop it growing any further.
You breathe.
You sit in a clearning to remember why you do what you do and where you want to go.
You don’t have to do it alone.
Maybe there’s someone who can help with this. Someone who’s been there.
You lean on them now.
You make a plan of what to do and how.
It’s not perfect but it’s good enough.
You build your new team to tend the forest, not fight the fires.
You realise that tending the forest is a different job from leading the team of foresters.
You create boundaries in and around the forest that will stop future fires spreading.
You plant new trees.
You give it time and care.
It will grow as never before.

Photo by Jay Heike on Unsplash

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