"The objective is to add value to others," Cochran said. "You should always be thinking of ways to make your fellow firefighters, your engineer, your lieutenant, and your captain look good to the chief," Cochran said. "You should be saying I want more rank and more authority so that I can add more value to more people. Those people are never threatened, they have vision and they take advice from everybody including rookies when necessary. They are coaches and not dictators."
Even for all his hard work and achievement, Cochran said he still has shortcomings that he works on every day.
"I know I have done things in my life and my career that have contributed whole heartedly to my career advancement," Cochran said. "I also know that there are some weaknesses that when, and if I overcome them, I am going to be even more marketable for future opportunities. It takes a lot of courage to say that in a room full of firefighters, but it's important to be open and transparent. I'm telling you that, even though as blessed as I am, coming up as a poor kid from a shotgun house, with a five-year old's dream to the U.S. Fire Administrator, I tell you I have some weaknesses that if I were to overcome them, I would be and even better husband, a better daddy, a better U.S. Fire Administrator and we've got to accept that need for improvement in ourselves. ...It takes a constant focus to work on the things we know we need to improve."