Tag Archives: New York Times

Bridge Burners set Themselves on Fire

The obvious in life doesn’t always need repeating, however in some cases the obvious doesn’t always stick, and repetition is deemed necessary.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t’ say anything at all” is one of those obvious phrases that you hate hearing over and over..and over. You think such an idea is obvious- why would you express something negative to someone, what good does it do?

Well, it burns bridges.

Here is the simple scenario. You know the feeling when you are approached with a new idea, a new opportunity, a new path that looks promising, and you jump on it? Think of this as your island filled with new resources and opportunities.

Now, think of all the current relationships you have, all the opportunities you are currently striving towards, or even the business you are currently with. In your everyday life, most people create a subconscious social ladder in their head. In primary terms: I know I am better than him/her, he has a higher position than me and doesn’t’ deserve it…i.e. the things you think, but would never say. This is your homeland, your current niche and manifestation.

Well when approached with a new opportunity, and the right catch phrase, you may immediately assign yourself superiority- essentially get cocky. At this time, it is seen so often in business, people put down people they have worked with for years, and tell them what they really think. The motivation behind this is due to the fact that they believe this new idea will propel them to new heights.

Unintelligent

This is the concept of “bridge burning”- and trust me, while letting all that out might feel good, just wait until you realize the dangerous position you put yourself in.

After you cross that bridge, from your homeland to the new and promising island, and burn it, you can’t go back. Period.

In business, as you should understand from my previous posts, networking is VITAL. Why on earth would you practice such a concept as bridge burning? Build bridges people!

You never know when you will need something you hadn’t foreseen. What is most unfortunate, and usually the case, is that many times that bridge you just burned, and all the people you left on your homeland, will not help you with anything you ask. Why? Well human logic! If I am a farmer and I discovered this new chemical that will triple my corn yield- which upon discovery I tell you how I am the “big fish” and how you are nothing- but upon application it kills your entire corn crop, well when you need corn to feed your family and the emergency plan was your friend you just told off, guess what- your a cooked fish now.

The importance of this bridge building and not burning idea is highlighted in many business related text. If you want to explore it further, including methodology, origins, pros and cons, by all means check these links out!

Helium: http://www.helium.com/items/252848-careers-how-not-to-burn-bridges-when-you-leave-your-job

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/business/yourmoney/05career.html

If you don’t’ have time to read all that text, keep this in mind: When you are leaving a job or relationship instead of releasing all of your pent up frustration, and putting down the person or group on the other side of the relationship, buy them a bottle of their favorite wine, take them out to dinner, give them lavish compliments, use this as an OPPORTUNITY to make a wooden bridge a steel one.

Work from wood to steel…why?

Steel doesn’t burn.

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