Let the mother burn

I laughed out loud in my car today when I pulled up next to:










And on the very back of the tanker there was attached a:






Which would only result in:

[youtube WL77RYq47R8]

I couldn't help but think of leaders I know who have had to deal with people who are like fuel tanker trucks waiting to explode and the only thing the leader had was a small fire extinguisher.  I guarantee that if you asked any leader they would be able to share with you a story of someone that they were so intentional, gentle,  and caring  towards (fire extinguisher) that eventually exploded.

How do you recognize fuel tanker type people (be careful, they can explode at any moment)?

1.  They want it their way.  A whiner is like a tanker with a valve open.  All it takes is a spark for things to go boom.  These type of people will have a primary focus, "If WE do this, how will it effect ME?"

2.  Everyone behind them is running on fumes, but notice the tanker is full.  These people are always takers or consumers.  They will get involved looking like they have a ton to give and will energize the organization or company.  However, they explode and  leave saying they were undervalued or not appreciated.  After they leave, they will continue to take with them energy from the team like they drove off with the hose still attached to the team, sucking all the fun out of everything.

3.   In their mind a fire extinguisher is plenty.  As a leader, this is all you are to these people.  They will constantly show up in your office, or get scheduled on your calendar, so that you can take the extinguisher and spray it at their tank.  There's actually no fire yet but they think that's what you're there for, to make sure nothing starts an explosion in them.  You can recognize these people by listening to where the blame falls, on everyone else even though they are the tank of ignitable gas.  When the explosion happens they will blame the person who caused the spark and never recognize they were full of ignitable gas.

4.  They will inform you of what they were made for.  Especially in volunteer situations, people who are like tankers waiting to explode will quickly define what they will do instead of asking, "How can I help?"  (See point 1)

Leaders you have to be aware of who are the tanker trucks built to explode.  I wish I could tell you the tanker is not going to explode but it's going to, it's just a matter of time.  I just want you to be aware so you don't use your own tears trying to put out the fire when it was unavoidable in the first place.  If you're a wise leader, just let the mother burn and back away.

As a leader, you owe it to everyone you lead to check yourself.  Are you a tanker waiting to explode?  Please, empty all the ignitable fuel in your heart.  I suggest you give it to Jesus.  There are some of you who just need a flippin vacation.  The clearest way to know if you are a tanker is if something needs to change in the organization and your first thought is how you will be affected.

Is Michael Scott a hero?

Do you know what the most important thing to give your team is? [youtube oYoQzLVgN84]


The average young leader would think the answer is me, "My team needs me. They need my wisdom. They need my authority. They need my opinion."

The first and most important thing that your team needs is time. They need time to be together. They need time to be creative. They need time to do what they have volunteered for or been hired to do. They need time where you sit and listen. They need time to pray. They need time in stillness. They need time to voice concerns.

We make the mistake of thinking our wisdom is what will maximize our people's talents and time, but in reality, it is the process of learning and applying what they've learned that will maximize their experience and contribution as an individual and team member. Your opinion doesn't make you a hero, but I guarantee listening will.