by Paul Casey

Do You Tire of Putting Out Fires?

Leaders have the choice of continuing to react to circumstances as they pop up all day, “patching the dam” and feeling out of control of their schedules and influence. OR, leaders can choose to be proactive, getting ahead of as much as they can with intentionality and systems that lead to a healthier organization–and a healthier leader!

Reactive leaders                                                               Proactive leaders

Yell at staff who keep failing                                              Train staff to be successful

Experience the same negative patterns                            Develop effective processes

Are the last ones to know or get surprised                        Establish two-way feedback loops

Blame, listen to blame, and get blamed                            Make accountability a team core value

Deal with everyone’s petty complaints                              Point people back to the person they struggle with

Miss deadlines                                                                   Block out time to adhere to timelines

Allow everyone to interrupt/de-rail productivity                  Protects priority productivity time

Are disconnected from the “action”                                    Appear/lead regular staff meetings at all levels

Get overwhelmed and burn out                                         Follow a system of self-care and work-life boundaries

Feel like they must do it all                                                Empower/trust their core team to shoulder the load

Spend too much time doing tasks in own weak areas      Spend time doing the few things in their strength zone

Delay addressing festering attitude issues                        Confront teammates who behave “below the line”

For more application to your leadership team, reach out to me for a complimentary consultation at and we’ll put our heads together to determine if a retreat or training just might be in store to get out of the jail of “putting out fires” in your non-profit board or business core team.


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