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 flowing from this snowfield. On the first river, lives a man whose experience of life is that he never quite has enough water. Life experiences has taught him so. 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 life is that he must be careful and conserve the water, because there’s barely ever enough coming down for him.

Now on the second river there is a man whose 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 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 in the snowfield that one could never use all the water coming down the river. As a result 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. The next year, this man has a plan for another 3 canals. The following year, he digs 5 new canals. It seems that no matter how many canals he digs, the water keeps coming. 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 can’t use up all the water.

Now suppose there’s a valve at the top of each river and you are the person at the valve who decides how much water to release into each river.

How much water would you release in the first river?

How much water would you put in the second river?

How much water would you put in the third river?

You would probably send only enough water to meet the needs of the people who live on the first and second river. 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 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:

Which river do you see yourself on?

Do you take the posture of what you can gain versus what you can give?

Do you lead your critical relationships to beneficial gains before benefiting yourself?