Let’s Lead Like the Building is On Fire

Aaron McHugh


What if we lead our organizations like the building was literally on fire?

What if we skipped all the niceties and the politically correct advisable techniques and simply lead?

I care about people.

I care about the impact I have on people’s lives under my influence.

And, I exhaust myself somedays in caring about my effect on people more than simply leading them.

I lead better when the building is burning

Upon some self reflection, I see clearly how I am a better leader in crisis.
In crisis, I am decisive.
In crisis, I am brave.
In crisis, I am precise in my leadership.
What is wrong with me that the above are lacking when crisis is not present?

The question came to me

What if we lead like the building was on fire?

What if we skipped all of that added layer of corporate conditioning?

Instead of “You know we should talk more about this.

We might shout Go this way!

Instead of “Would you mind if you considered an alternative?

We direct NO!

Instead of “I wonder how you might feel about this?”

We emphatically traffic the under-performer towards the exit.

Crisis quickly surfaces what we really believe.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Lead Like the Building is On Fire

  1. Aaron,

    This raises some great questions. I think there’s never a solid solution of always ask for more opinions and then times to lead like the building is on fire. It’s choosing which leadership style fits the situation.

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