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    #1

    hold my feet to the fire?

    Hello Everyone,

    What does the underlined mean in the following paragraph?


    ...A good team leader is one who can create group synergy order to pursue collective goals. If you're going to be a good make sure that you support people around you and keep the gin working well. That's an important lesson I learned from one my former chief executive officers, who held me accountable: my beliefs -- in fact, there were times he held my feet tothefire- but he never held a grudge against me for believing something different from what he believed in.

    Regards
    Sky

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    #2

    Re: hold my feet to the fire?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    What does the underlined mean in the following paragraph?


    ...A good team leader is one who can create group synergy order to pursue collective goals. If you're going to be a good make sure that you support people around you and keep the gin working well. That's an important lesson I learned from one my former chief executive officers, who held me accountable: my beliefs -- in fact, there were times he held my feet tothefire- but he never held a grudge against me for believing something different from what he believed in.

    Regards
    Sky
    Hi Sky,

    It is an interesting quote but I am helpless since I lack command over the lang. I hope some one can help you and am waiting it......

    Best wishes
    Cheers


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    #3

    Re: hold my feet to the fire?

    The first sentence should be:
    A good team leader is one who can create group synergy in order to pursue collective goals.


    Synergy refers to the interaction or cooperation of two or more (people) to produce a combined effect which is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately:
    So - in a group, one person has an idea, and then another person develops that idea further; or the first idea gets another of the group thinking along that line, and comes up with a similar but better idea. A group that is 'brain-storming' is an example.

    held me accountable...in fact, there were times he held my feet to thefire- but he never held a grudge against me for believing something different from what he believed...

    This idiom refers to a torture used during the Crusade's. As a method for extracting a confession for heresy, non-believers were positioned in a manner that allowed the inquisitor to apply flames to the feet of the accused. This was done until the accused confessed or died.

    There is something odd about the sentence. You have typed, held me accountable: my beliefs - in fact, there were times...
    Should it be 'held me accountable for my beliefs?' - the colon doesn't make sense.

    So - he was held accountable to make good on his beliefs (whatever they are - there seems to be a jump from 'group synergy' to talking about some unspecified 'beliefs') - with the CEO actually exerting pressure on him (the 'holding his feet to the fire') to live up to his beliefs and possibly put them into action as a group leader.
    Last edited by David L.; 18-Sep-2008 at 10:51.

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    #4

    Re: hold my feet to the fire?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    The first sentence should be:
    A good team leader is one who can create group synergy in order to pursue collective goals.


    Synergy refers to the interaction or cooperation of two or more (people) to produce a combined effect which is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately:
    So - in a group, one person has an idea, and then another person develops that idea further; or the first idea gets another of the group thinking along that line, and comes up with a similar but better idea. A group that is 'brain-storming' is an example.

    held me accountable...in fact, there were times he held my feet to thefire- but he never held a grudge against me for believing something different from what he believed...

    This idiom refers to a torture used during the Crusade's. As a method for extracting a confession for heresy, non-believers were positioned in a manner that allowed the inquisitor to apply flames to the feet of the accused. This was done until the accused confessed or died.

    There is something odd about the sentence. You have typed, held me accountable: my beliefs - in fact, there were times...
    Should it be 'held me accountable for my beliefs?' - the colon doesn't make sense.

    So - he was held accountable to make good on his beliefs (whatever they are - there seems to be a jump from 'group synergy' to talking about some unspecified 'beliefs') - with the CEO actually exerting pressure on him (the 'holding his feet to the fire') to live up to his beliefs and possibly put them into action as a group leader.
    First thanks million for your time! I think you are right. I will check my textbook! Thanks!

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    #5

    Re: hold my feet to the fire?

    Hi David,

    I can't understand :

    So - he was held accountable to make good on his beliefs (whatever they are - there seems to be a jump from 'group synergy' to talking about some unspecified 'beliefs') - with the CEO actually exerting pressure on him (the 'holding his feet to the fire') to live up to his beliefs and possibly put them into action as a group leader.

    Can you explain once more? What does make good on his beliefs mean here? And what do you mean by saying " a jump from ' goup synergy'?

    And Can I understand the original part this way?
    (The original part: That's an important lesson I learned from one my former chief executive officers, who held me accountable for my beliefs -- in fact, there were times he held my feet to the fire- but he never held a grudge against me for believing something different from what he believed in.)
    ...This is what I have learned from a former CEO, who allowed me to manage or do according to my own concept. As a matter of fact, he let me work as a leader, which gave me a good opportunity to practice. But he never hated me due to the differences of our ideas .

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    #6

    Exclamation Re: hold my feet to the fire?

    The phrases and Idioms in the passage have been well explained by David L. However, I have made some notes similar to David, which I like to share with others:
    Synergy order: The idea that combined strength is greater any individual, is effectively utilized by a group leader. A person in the group may not be great performer but he is sincere and hard working. Another person in the group may be an excellent thinker. A good leader has the capability to utilize these +ve qualities such as performing, hard working, sincerity and good thinking, so as to form a cohesive force directed towards achievement of collective goal.
    the gin: Keep the gin means: to maintain a grasp/grip over his people.
    held me accountable: means; I am obligated to answer for any thing that has gone wrong.: Example: He hold me accountable for the shortage of cash.
    held my feet tothefire: This is an Idiom meaning: To pressure (someone) to consent/agree to or undertake something, Though at times I disagreed with him he made me to agree with his forceful argument and logic.


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    #7

    Re: hold my feet to the fire?

    "keep the gin working':
    I may be out of date, but what I understand by this is:
    a 'gin' is a machine for separating cotton from its seeds. That is, what we want, is valuable, from what we don't want. So - a team leader doesn't allow a team to get bogged down in irrelevances (the seeds) but keeps the team working to produce and develop good ideas (the cotton).

    What does make good on his beliefs mean here?
    It's one thing to hold beliefs - that's easy.......until they're put to the test. So - if you believe something (and the passage does not make it clear what these 'beliefs' are: let's say they are to do with/about how a particular style of leadership brings the best ideas forth from a group) then put those beliefs into practice, run a group, and let's see how good the ideas are, how productive the group is.

    'holding my feet to the fire': again, it's one thing - very easy to hold and express a belief - but how much, how firmly, how deeply, are convinced that you are right/correct in this belief? No matter how severely tested you are (in trying to put your belief into practice) (applying fire to your feet, for instance!), you will still hold on to this belief, in its truth and value, that you will not back down, will still hold this belief.
    (As opposed to the Crusades, where those subjected to this torture backed down and recanted their belief.)

    what do you mean by saying " a jump from ' goup synergy'?
    The writer is talking about the fact that people 'spark each other off', something that one person says sparks off an idea in another person, so that the ideas that a group may come up with are far more - and better - than one person alone. Then suddenly the writer mentions 'belief's and being made 'accountable' for them, and being tested, forced to show how firmly he believes in them (and probably, able to justify that these beliefs are well founded that the CEO and others should see the truth of this 'belief', in the results he achieves through putting them into practice.) But we have no mention, no information as to what these beliefs are: one minute he is writing about 'group synergy' and then about his 'beliefs' which we can only assume are related to business practice and how best to run a group...or something. Can you say, from reading the passage, what his 'belief' is????

    The essential meaning here, of ‘holding my feet to the fire’ is:
    The writer and the CEO have a different belief about something, presumably some aspect of work practice/management. The CEO is his boss – let’s say he’s like a Catholic Spanish Inquisitor; and the writer holds a belief which is heretical to the Catholic church. Inquisitors would torture such people, wanting them to recant (=saying that one no longer holds an opinion or belief). Torture to which such perceived heretics were subjected would make them see that they were wrong (supposedly) and so conform to the beliefs of the Catholic Church.
    In terms of the passage, ‘the test of his belief" (and if it isn't going as he hoped, it might feel like torture) and how firmly he held it (so that even if it isn't going well and he can see his belief being shattered, does he still hold on to the belief, convinced in himself that it is true and valid and that if he just keeps going, he will show that he is right) - the ‘torture’ was being forced to put it into practice…and keep going...until it proved to the writer that he was wrong (as the CEO probably thought he was) and should give up this belief and agree with the CEO – or otherwise, the CEO might be forced to change his beliefs!) (Though, a real Spanish Inquisitor would have kept going with his real physical torture until the person was dead if he didn't recant: the Catholic Church is 'right' - a one-way street: recant or perish - nothing would ever make a Spanish Inquisitor change his beliefs.)
    Last edited by David L.; 19-Sep-2008 at 23:12.

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    #8

    Re: hold my feet to the fire?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    "keep the gin working':
    I may be out of date, but what I understand by this is:
    a 'gin' is a machine for separating cotton from its seeds. That is, what we want, is valuable, from what we don't want. So - a team leader doesn't allow a team to get bogged down in irrelevances (the seeds) but keeps the team working to produce and develop good ideas (the cotton).

    What does make good on his beliefs mean here?
    It's one thing to hold beliefs - that's easy.......until they're put to the test. So - if you believe something (and the passage does not make it clear what these 'beliefs' are: let's say they are to do with/about how a particular style of leadership brings the best ideas forth from a group) then put those beliefs into practice, run a group, and let's see how good the ideas are, how productive the group is.

    Can you give another dialogue here using the phrase? I havn't get the meaning of the phrase!

    The passage is originally taken from an address made by the CEO of Wilson Company( Sorry, I haven't found out where the CEO come from) in Tsinghua University, the toppest learning institution in China. He addressed the issue of the importance of working together, expressing the idea of individual adds, work team multiplies or as the oriental Chinese proverb : people with one mind can remove Mout. Tai, one of the top five world renown holy or religious moutain.

    'holding my feet to the fire': again, it's one thing - very easy to hold and express a belief - but how much, how firmly, how deeply, are convinced that you are right/correct in this belief? No matter how severely tested you are (in trying to put your belief into practice) (applying fire to your feet, for instance!), you will still hold on to this belief, in its truth and value, that you will not back down, will still hold this belief.
    (As opposed to the Crusades, where those subjected to this torture backed down and recanted their belief.)

    Hold my feet to the fire must be a proverb. Is it common in daily English? If not, can you tell me its equivalence in daily English? Can you offer me one common dialogue here using the proverb? And now I create a dilogue using the proverb. Do you think if it works in the context?
    ( imagined Backgound: before the famous scientist, who raises the idea of earth moving aound the son and who presume that earth is the not centre of our universe , was arrested by the religious group, he developed a dialogue with his mother; A: the mother B: the son( sorry I don't know his name in English exactly)

    A: Run away immediatly dear, please. I fear they will come and seize you this evening. They think what you are advocating is evil. You will be killed.

    B: Sorry... sorry...Mum. Please take good care of you. For the truth, I won't give in, I will hold my feet to the fire for the truth. I would rather be killed. You know I have been taught from the child one should live for truth. It is the time now.... sorry.



    what do you mean by saying " a jump from ' goup synergy'?
    The writer is talking about the fact that people 'spark each other off', something that one person says sparks off an idea in another person, so that the ideas that a group may come up with are far more - and better - than one person alone. Then suddenly the writer mentions 'belief's and being made 'accountable' for them, and being tested, forced to show how firmly he believes in them (and probably, able to justify that these beliefs are well founded that the CEO and others should see the truth of this 'belief', in the results he achieves through putting them into practice.) But we have no mention, no information as to what these beliefs are: one minute he is writing about 'group synergy' and then about his 'beliefs' which we can only assume are related to business practice and how best to run a group...or something. Can you say, from reading the passage, what his 'belief' is????

    The essential meaning here, of ‘holding my feet to the fire’ is:
    The writer and the CEO have a different belief about something, presumably some aspect of work practice/management. The CEO is his boss – let’s say he’s like a Catholic Spanish Inquisitor; and the writer holds a belief which is heretical to the Catholic church. Inquisitors would torture such people, wanting them to recant (=saying that one no longer holds an opinion or belief). Torture to which such perceived heretics were subjected would make them see that they were wrong (supposedly) and so conform to the beliefs of the Catholic Church.
    In terms of the passage, ‘the test of his belief" (and if it isn't going as he hoped, it might feel like torture) and how firmly he held it (so that even if it isn't going well and he can see his belief being shattered, does he still hold on to the belief, convinced in himself that it is true and valid and that if he just keeps going, he will show that he is right) - the ‘torture’ was being forced to put it into practice…and keep going...until it proved to the writer that he was wrong (as the CEO probably thought he was) and should give up this belief and agree with the CEO – or otherwise, the CEO might be forced to change his beliefs!) (Though, a real Spanish Inquisitor would have kept going with his real physical torture until the person was dead if he didn't recant: the Catholic Church is 'right' - a one-way street: recant or perish - nothing would ever make a Spanish Inquisitor change his beliefs.)
    What you are talking here is related to some religious backgourd! Can you bief the Spanish Inquisitor here. I know nothing about its background?

    The severe test, like the threat of death, can really prove whether one is persistent in his belief and whether one is loyal to the GOD.

    Does one-way steet mean the only choice?

    TEIM IS PRECIOUS FOR EVERYONE !THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR TIME! THE KIND ENJOYS A PROSPEROUS AND PLEASANT LIFE!

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