I wanted to take a few short minutes out of your day and talk about the domino effect and the power it can have in our organizations. I, like you, tend to want to see instant results from the work I put in. I want my organization to be great and work hard every day to make it so. Most times I don’t get the instant results I am looking for. These results take time. Weeks, months, or even years until we see our hard work come to fruition.
We all have a boss. We all have to answer to someone. There are some days when we may feel beat down by what is happening in our organizations. There may be days when you feel your leadership is completely disconnected. I encourage you, when you start to feel this frustration, when you start to feel like you efforts are all for not, look down, not up the chain of command.
The domino effect of leadership is a very powerful thing. Focus on your sphere of influence. Focus on your dominoes. I have close to 15 guys that work for me in my firehouse, or really, that I work for. These are 15 dominoes that I try to focus my attention on every single day I come to work. You see, if you were to place a set of dominoes standing in the form of a triangle and hit the head or top domino, they will all come crashing down. If you were to go somewhere in the middle of that same formation and knock over a domino, it will also take a large majority with it.
So what I am saying is this: Focus on your dominoes. Keep them standing tall by constantly mentoring them, inspiring them, and developing them professionally. You don’t have to be head domino to impact your organization. You don’t even have to be at the second row. I sit many rows below that head domino, but right now I am in the process of tipping over the ones beneath me. You need to do the same. One day, they will stand tall again in a different row, and because of the leadership and example that we have set for them, they will continue to tip some of their own dominoes over. More and more dominoes will fall and get back up until eventually we all fall down as one powerful, mission focused team.
So you see all it takes is someone anywhere in that formation of dominoes to make positive change. If you grow frustrated with the current state of your organizations, focus on developing and knocking over your dominoes, and one day we all will see the change we work so hard for.