The Third River
Consider this parable and how it applies to the many facets of business.
This is a dream given to an author who will remain anonymous.
I saw a huge snowfield in the mountains with virtually an infinite supply of water. There were three rivers emanating from this snowfield. On the first river, lives a man who experience of life is that he never quite has enough water. Life experiences taught him that. So, what does he do with the water coming down the river? He builds a dam in that river, and collects all the water that he possibly can in a lake behind his dam. This man’s view of water includes only that which is available to him in his lake. Therefore, he must conserve water, and he must be very careful, because there’s barely ever enough coming down for him.
Now, there’s the second river that flows down from the snowfield. The man who lives along this river has life experience that tells him there’s usually plenty of water for him, so there is no need to build a dam in the river. He decides to let the water just flow naturally, to use what he needs and let the rest flow down the river for others who live downstream to use. This man perceives that there is plenty of water in the river to meet his needs and plenty of water for the people who live downstream. So, he lives his life that way on the river, taking what he needs out of the river, and letting the rest flow downstream.
Then there is a third river and a man who also lives along this river. His experience of life is that there is so much water up there in the snowfield that one could never use all the water coming down the river. As a result of this understanding, this man has begun digging canals to outlying areas to help water the field of others who don’t live near a river. Each year he digs a few new canals out to his neighbors, who need water. In the next year, this man has a plan for another 3 canals. Then the following year, he’s hoping to dig 5 new canals that can go out even farther from this river. It seems that no matter how many canals he digs, he just keeps digging canals. As a matter of fact, this man is thinking all the time how he can hire some more men with more bulldozers to help dig canals faster to get water out to all these other farms that are from the river. This man’s experience of life is that he just can’t use up all that water.
Now suppose that you are the person in the snowfield who decides how much water to release into each river. Which river are you going to tend to put most of the water down? Probably number 3. How much are you going to release into river number 1? You will probably put enough down this to meet the need of that man who lives down there; because you love him and you want him to be taken care of. However, there’s no use for that water’s making a large lake on his property. It just becomes stagnant, like the Dead Sea. So, you put just enough water down there for the man to use it, and that’s all you are going to put in that one.
How much water would you put in the second river? You would probably send only enough water to meet the need of the people who live a long that river. However, there is not point sending huge amounts of water down the river, as it will be improperly used. The majority of the water will, of course, be sent down the third river, so that it will be utilized to bring the most benefit to the greatest number of people.
At the Lion Group, we believe that to live on the third river we are compelled to serve and lead all our relationships to the most beneficial synergistic ends. This would include leading our clients to the most profitable and desirable candidates in the market. For our candidates, it would be overturning every stone to find the most gratifying opportunity that suits their practice and preferences. And finally, it would be a commitment to relentlessly gathering marketplace intelligence for both all constituents with whom we can benefit.
We are committed to leading our business relationships to the prosperous source and synergistic end. We believe in the Third River.
Consider these questions:
1) Which river do you see yourself on?
2) Do you take the posture of what you can gain versus what you can give?
3) Do you lead your critical relationships to beneficial gains before benefiting yourself?
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