Fireside Chats

Fireside Chats

Lindsey M. Adler Tucked into an unassuming side street in Manhattan sits one of my favorite office escapes. On its face, The Churchill is a most average looking British themed pub, most remarkable for its authenticity, in décor, menu, beer selection—even a regular chunk of the staff seems to speak with a British accent. However, the secret sauce of The Churchill’s charm is in the bathroom.

That’s right, my favorite weekday retreat is a restroom in a bar. You must be thinking this has to be a fancy, amenities— full washroom with space age-y electronics to boot. By looks, it’s pretty standard—nicer than average, yet still run of the mill. It’s what you hear in The Churchill’s bathroom that is so priceless. It’s none other than good ol’ Winston himself, piped in through the restaurant’s distributed audio system, for a private “fireside chat.”

Lately, I’ve been yearning for a more bona fide fireside chat. Is it campfire season yet? Even though this winter in the Northeast has been the mildest that I can remember, the many hours of darkness each day still has an enduring, dreary psychological effect. I actually have to think way back for the last time I sat around a real campfire. A number of instances come to mind from the years I lived in Colorado. It seems so distant to me, yet I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s a truly timeless feeling to circle around a fire on a warm summer night taking in the great outdoors. It’s in that glow of flames where real talk happens. Surely, that’s the nostalgic feeling I’m going for with my one-on-ones with Churchill. Quite simply, I’m endlessly searching for wisdom to impart on others when I really need to speak less and listen instead.

Symbolically, fire represents rebirth, destruction, creation, creativity—all of which are evident in ancient mythologies. We may not get to choose what emerges from the ashes, but it’s always a fresh start, and we do get to choose what to do with it.

As the days thankfully grow longer and new growth appears all around, we should enlighten with reflection, pause, and a thoughtfully calculated game plan. While the AV business kicks into high gear over the next few months, let’s take the time to gather around with both our closest confidents and less known colleagues to ponder how we get from where we are to where we want to be. Oh, and I’ll be breaking out the marshmallows for it too.