The Fire Has to Be Stoked


I'm on a brief writing sabbatical in the mountains of Utah.  My previous condos have all featured a gas fireplace.  Just flip the switch and you have instant and constant flames.

This year's unit has a wood fireplace, so building a fire involved setting some kindling aflame, adding wood, periodically stoking the logs to keep the flames going, and regularly adding more wood.

In some respects these respective fireplaces metaphorically reflect individual passion and commitment to an organization. 

Some individuals are like gas fireplaces.  Turn them on once and they run at a steady state almost nonstop with little additional attention required.

Others are more like the wood fireplace.  You've got to get them interested with some kindling and then regularly attend to their passions and interests.

At any given time we may be either of these two fires, and any organization no doubt has a mixture of both individuals at the same time.

The key is to know which best describes any individual you're working with at the moment and then responding accordingly.