Magazine article Success

Hold on Tight: Instead of Succumbing to Panic, Reach out to Others

Magazine article Success

Hold on Tight: Instead of Succumbing to Panic, Reach out to Others

Article excerpt

My senior year of high school, I decided to become a volunteer firefighter. In order to do so, I had to complete 90 hours of training, plus a final test called the Fire Maze. The objective was simple: Rescue a dummy inside a flaming, empty farm silo.

My partner and I entered the silo together. His job was to touch the wall at all times to avoid getting lost. Meanwhile, I held his hand and did sweeps with my other hand. As the flames blazed and the smoke grew thicker, our oxygen tank alarm bell went off early. We panicked. I let go of my partner, and he let go of the wall. The veteran firefighters had to rescue us. Once we were out, they keyed us in to a few things. First, the bell intentionally went off early as a false alarm. And second, we were the only dummies--the real test was whether we would surrender to the panic.

I see this type of figurative panic happen frequently in the workplace. …

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