Getting Out of the Fire

“A group hiking through the mountains once found themselves engulfed by smoke from a forest fire. The fire threatened to encircle them. The smoke obscured all landmarks. They began to stumble in all directions until one of them said confidently, “Follow me.”

Linking hands to stay together, they followed the leader. She led them on a straight path through the smoke to safety. When they were safe, one of the hikers asked, “How did you know the way out?” “I didn’t,” she said, “but I knew we were goners if we didn’t get out of there, so I set a course and stuck to it.”

The leader had no more knowledge and skill than any of the other hikers. What she had was self-confidence.

U.S. General George Patton, described it this way. “The most vital quality a soldier can possess is self-confidence.” — Nido R. Qubein

Once again it is the ability to face our fears that will help us get out of the vast majority of that which we face. That is what we see with the lady above. She knew it was hopeless if they were indecisive and stayed where they were out of fear. They would have been burned to death or died of smoke inhalation. Instead of allowing that to happen, this lady realized any decision gave them a better chance than no decision. She realized if they simply started in a direction, they had a chance whereas, if they stayed where they were, they were surely doomed.

In Leadership, there are three methods by which people become leaders:

1. One’s personality trait makes it natural for one to enter into leadership. This is known as, The Trait Theory.
2. During an emergency, crisis, or important event, a person’s extraordinary qualities of leadership are seen as he/she rises to the occasion. This is known as, The Great Events Theory.
3. People who choose to become leaders by learning and developing leadership skills. This is known as, The Transformational Theory.

The lady in the story by Mr. Qubein above, was a Great Events Theory Leader. She rose up during a crisis and became the one needed to help many get to safety. I call this person a Situational Leader. These people rise up in a leadership capacity during any traumatic occasion, but may not otherwise exhibit leadership qualities. More than likely, this lady never did another thing that was anywhere close to this type of leadership, but what she did during this one, save many. Without her, there the situation would have been disastrous for all.

Situational leaders are those who happen to be there when a home is burning, there has been an auto accident or some other major disaster is occurring. They take the lead by being calm, cool and collected, all the while focusing on that which is necessary to avert disaster. In this case, it took someone who faced their fear thereby, allowing self-confidence to rise up in them. In doing so, she became the savior of all.

When you are in any situation that causes your hackles to stand up, more often than not you may find yourself paralyzed by fear because you are faced with an uncertain situation. Instead of allowing the situation to dictate to you what is going to happen, take control of your thinking for in doing so you will have a much better chance of controlling the outcome.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox