Back in December 2010, I titled a post How to Not Abuse Your First Responders. In it I rant about leaders who call, “Fire!” or “The sky is falling!” then have no idea what to do with all the loyal first responders that rush forward eager to put out the fire or prop up the sky.
I’ve seen too many good people (leaders and first responders) crushed under the weight of a real crisis poorly resolved.
It pains me to watch good people respond to the call to arms only to have their help turned away (if it is acknowledged at all). It doesn’t have to be that way.
Leaders must discipline themselves to only call for help when they intend to use it. They’ll know if they intend to use it by answering a simple question: What few things would I be happy to let the first responders do to solve this problem? If nothing springs to mind, don’t yell for help.
But, for us first responders, what are we to do if the leaders call for help then won’t let us help them?
I don’t have a good answer. I’m asking you. What do you think we should do?
Do you like any of the things I suggested in the old post? I’m not sure I like them as much now as I did then.
I’ll keep thinking about it though and I look forward to at least a few of you sharing your thoughts in the comments below.