Choosing Heat

Picnic table in the cold

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Life grows cold when you feel alone.
Find someone who keeps you warm.

Relationships make or break us.

Everyone grows, develops, and succeeds in the context of relationship.

Why alone:

Feeling alone comes from choosing the cold.

  1. Devaluing the centrality of relationships.
  2. Refusing to help or support others. Stop expecting everyone to adapt to you. Adapt to others.
  3. Pulling away and closing out. You’ve chosen safety over relationship. Walls propagate the cold.
  4. Arrogantly believing everything depends on you.

Two proverbs:

“If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.”

But here’s another, opposite, proverb:

“Two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?”

Nothing is colder than feeling alone. Find someone to lie down with, but don’t choose a dog with fleas.

Lie with those who:

  1. Aren’t like you.
  2. Kick people in the pants. Apathy is easy.
  3. Speak and act humbly.
  4. Push for excellence and give second chances. Look for compassion not mediocrity.
  5. Share their journey. Do they share personal stories of success and failure? How do they talk about their mistakes? Don’t lie with fakers.
  6. Give of themselves.
  7. Speak with candor. Those who say what you want to hear are driven by self-interest.
  8. Dream for themselves and others.
  9. Energize rather than drain.
  10. Earn your respect and respect you.

Bonus: Lie with those who receive as well as give.

Choosing heat:

Leaders on their own are individual contributors,
doomed to fail.

  1. Make relationship building a priority.
  2. Choose to fuel fires. Be a person who energizes others. Like Bob Burg says, “Be a go-giver.”
  3. Choose to open yourself to others. Some will step in. A few will lie down. All warm relationships require vulnerability.

Why is it hard for leaders to build sustaining relationships?

How must leaders change in order for them to enjoy heat-making relationships?