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BLOGLight the Fire

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking, Professional DevelopmentTagged as: ,

While camping, a group of four friends – all managers – were talking about teamwork. As the evening wore on, it became colder, and each person went to put on a warm jacket and a hat – except the fourth: he went scavenging for wood. After thirty minutes, he came back, wood in arms, and proceeded to light a fire.

Clearly, his initiative was to be commended; after all, he spent half an hour getting wood for his friends. But more importantly, he made an important choice: he could have put on his jacket, and only warmed himself. Instead, he lit a fire, and brought warmth to all those around him. Both yielded the same benefit for him, but the second also helped his friends.

While the story may be cute, how many times have we put on our own jackets, instead of doing something that also benefits others? This concept holds important lessons for those interested in their professional success. For example:

  • When you are networking, are you “giving” to those you know, or always asking? Light the fire so that your network warms to you.
  • When you are gunning for that new senior role, do you have the support of those you work with? Light the fire for your colleagues, so they propel you to that next level.

Another benefit: lighting a fire for others builds stronger relationships; eventually they will return the favor.

Especially with the colder weather, we instinctively reach for our jackets and hats. But creating a warm climate – both at work and at home – sometimes means thinking beyond our jackets, and lighting a fire.


This week, answer two questions.  What fires are easiest for you to light?  And what groups need to be warmed by your fire the most? And when those questions are answered, then…

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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