Independent Thinking Blog

Protecting Your People


The fire alarm in my building went off twice the other night. Although there are probably 400 residents, I wasn’t surprised to find only a handful had bothered to move. I think it’s selfish and offensive to risk a firefighter’s life on the off-chance you’ve miscalculated your hazard risk, but everyone has different values. What I wasn’t prepared for were the people who berated our highly-competent building manager for “too sensitive” alarms. To address the issue, he wrote a memo reminding people that the fire alarm is a safety feature.

Today is his 10th anniversary. (Happy anniversary Walter.) I know because the best decision I ever made during my tenure as president of my condo board was to hire him. And I would never have left him to hang out to dry. I’d have written the memo myself, because as a boss it’s your job to support, protect, and back up your employees.

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