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Light the Fire

by Randall Craig on October 31, 2006

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking,

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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 developing their careers. 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 promotion, 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: your example will cause others to light fires – for you!

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.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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