When you’re so busy you don’t have time to think, it’s time to work smarter. And if you spend all your time putting out fires, you’re living on the fire grounds; it’s time to build a firehouse.

First, get a firehouse. A “firehouse” is time or space in which you gain perspective, build relationships, learn and reflect. It could be a period of time you don’t check your email or maybe lunch with a colleague.

Next, get more time in the firehouse. That doesn’t have to mean a lot of it; it could be going to work 15 minutes early to think through the day or taking a moment in a team meeting to find out what challenges your colleagues are facing.

Finally, you also need to find more firehouse time for your team to build personal connections, learn new skills and reflect on the team’s efforts after fighting a fire.

In this Three Things video, Darden Professor Lynn Isabella explains three keys to the firehouse that will lead to more meaningful results.

Leading Teams Through Growth and Change
Develop and lead efficient, effective teams able to meet the demands of a changing world
About the Expert

Lynn A. Isabella

Frank M. Sands Sr. Associate Professor of Business Administration

Isabella is an expert in leadership and how people think about change. She is an authority on leading and managing in a global environment and in competency in global leadership. As a teacher, consultant and executive coach, she teaches individuals and companies to develop talent and organizational effectiveness. Her research focuses on questions of developing personal leadership expertise, leading change as a middle manager and on the events that shape individual careers and propel organizational change.

Isabella is co-author of the books Alliance CompetenceLeader and Teams: The Winning Partnership and The Portable MBA, Fifth Edition.

B.S., Tufts University ; Ed.M., Harvard University; MBA, DBA, Boston University