When I was in college, I had a mentor named Rick Howerton. Rick poured into my life in several immeasurable ways including, but not limited to, helping me land my first job with a nonprofit while I was in college.

 

I remember one day as we were meeting he told me, “Pete, there are only two kinds of people in this world. There are people who breathe life into you and there are people who will suck the life out of you.”

 

That’s true, isn’t it? We all know people that we just love to be around because we feel more energetic and inspired when we spend time with them. And we also know people who, well, make the room light up...when they walk out.

 

This is what Seth Godin refers to as the “first law of organizational thermodynamics.” He says, “You’re either the person who creates energy, or you’re the one who destroys it.”

 

You’re either the person who creates energy, or  the one who destroys it.

He goes on to say:

 

“You might be the one who initiates projects, who asks, “what if?” or eagerly says, “I’ll do it.” The person who finds and amplifies and supports the good work of others. The spark.

 

Or, it’s possible you’re the passive one, the naysayer, the bystander or the one who manages to eat the donuts at the meeting but not actually add much in the way of energy, kinetic or potential.

 

You can choose to be the generous one, putting in more than you take out, surprising everyone with a never-ending flow of generosity. Or, you can find any one hundred perfectly acceptable explanations/excuses/reasons why you’re merely an absorber of it.”

 

Of course, the beauty of this little reminder is that we all get to choose. We choose whether we’ll breathe energy, life and creativity into those around us today or whether we’ll be the one who sucks life out of the room.

 

And here’s the thing: No one is neutral. You’re always choosing one or the other.

 

So here’s hoping you’ll choose to be “the spark” today, because your team, your vision and your organization need it desperately.

 

If you're interested in more ways that you can impact the culture of your workplace, download our FREE Guide to Creating Contagious Culture below.

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