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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Succeed in Volunteerism (and Landuse)

Secrets to Succeeding as a Volunteer

Or any job for that matter...

By Del Albright

Having achieved the rank of Chief in the fire service, as well as being an officer in the military, I would like to share with you the secrets of success from what I've learned, and how it applies to being a volunteer.  It's a simple formula.

Let's say you're young and want to succeed in whatever you're doing, and you are surrounded by hungry competitors, old timers, "bs'ers," know-it-all's, posers, and some wise, old gray beards.  Who do you pay attention and listen to?  How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?  How do you rise above the pack?  Well, the secret is twofold.

First, as I told hundreds of young firefighters who wanted to promote someday, learn to listen.  Listen more and talk less.  That's step one of the formula.  And yes, it takes practice to sort out the good advice from the war stories; but it can be done with a little practice (and experience).  Listen for the little details; listen intently with what I call aerobic listening -- fully engaged communication.  Then jump to step 2.

Step 2 is to ask more and guess less.  Ask good questions and listen.  When in doubt about an assignment, don't guess what you have to do - ASK!  That way you'll be sure to get it right as you're getting it done!  In many assignments the asking can also come in the form of Expectations.  Ask what is expected of you.

If you're the boss of a job or assignment, learn to share your expectations of those following you.  It's simple.  If it makes you smile, write an expectation to achieve it.  If it makes you frown, write an expectation to avoid it.

Here's a little more on Expectations:

Bottom line to success:  learn to listen, then ask more and guess less. Get it right the first time and get further ahead in life faster!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

God Is My Co-Dawg

God Is My Co-Dawg

Reflecting on Veterans Day

By Del Albright

Veteran's Day gives me cause to pause, but honestly I remember and honor all our military all year long.  This year, with our country experiencing such change (ups and downs), it hit me hard how many of us are struggling -- military and non-military alike.

My life has had more than its share of "exploits" including being shot at in three countries, and I can't help but salute all who have served or are serving, as well as their families and friends who also paid a price. 

My off-roading/OHV friends know the term "co-dawg;" it's a respectful way to refer to the person in the passenger seat, also known as riding "shotgun." While I don't make a big deal of it, I'm also not embarrassed to say that God is my "co-dawg."  He has been, and continues to ride with me where ever I am. There is an amazing peace that comes with having such an esteemed co-dawg. 

There are caveats with this partnership, though. He is not going to get every gate for you; He is not going to fix your broken junk; He is not going to give you the exact answer you may be looking for; and He is not going to live your life for you.  All of those obstacles in life are still up to you to solve and live through; but as your co-dawg, He'll help you make the right choices and find the path you were meant to travel.

So my wish for you as I reflect on this Veterans Day is that you find a "co-dawg" who will help you find peace, as well as courage, serenity and wisdom.  I borrowed the Snoopy picture because the message is so strong -- keep looking up.  Keep looking ahead; find your peace; get a good "co-dawg;" and do what you were meant to do in life and do it with gusto!