Don’t be a shark

By Travis Dotson

It’s 11 minutes long.  Watch it.

So…?  What is the break down?  How much time do you spend learning vs performing?  Obviously when we are out on fire assignments we need to spend most of our time in the performing zone.  But we don’t spend all our time at work on fire assignments.  Even on assignments, there is usually plenty of time for each zone.

The point is, doing things well doesn’t make you better – it’s pretty much a plateau.  So what does this say about how much we value “experience”?

Experience is the best right?  We value it so much we robotically announce it at every training or meeting requiring an introduction: “Hello – I’m Billy Big Shot and I’ve been in fire for 3 eons.”  Well, chances are 2.9 of those eons were spent performing rather than learning – so it’s really not that big a deal Billy, sit down and try doing something outside your comfort zone.

In the video he talks about the importance of low stakes environments for learning.  Most of us have designed high stakes environments for each other.  We have created “social risks” where it’s a bad deal to fail.  Does working on your crew feel like this:


Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 1.45.56 PM

Yeah…not good for learning.

How can you influence the learning environment?

  1. Don’t be a shark.  Encourage folks to try and support them when they fall.
  2. Be the example – fall and get back up.  Be intentional about getting outside your comfort zone.
  3. Talk about this concept, get everyone on the same page.

That’s all.  Go learn.

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