Are you tapping into the Power of Ignition?

A single event or moment in time that changes everything; the point of no return.  At different times in our lives we’ve all experienced them.  Certainly, this year we’ve got plenty of examples where events created ignition.  We’ll leave history to judge the outcomes, but the power of ignition is real.

As we observe Labor Day 2020, the idea of the power of ignition seemed especially intriguing.   Over the last century since Labor Day was first observed there are many events that ignited and motivated our country in transformational ways.  For decades labor has continued to shift from manual labor to machine operation.  More recently this year, many business owners were ignited to make changes in their business models just to survive in the “new normal” they found themselves in.

So what is ignition?  In “The Talent Code” Daniel Croyle described “Ignition” as the motivational fuel that supplies the energy to do something.  There has to be some type of cue that sets it in motion, a desire to accomplish something.  Think about the situation when a family member is the first to go to college, once they go, additional family members follow.  On a broader scale, a country produces a famous athlete in a sport they are not known for and it sparks a shift across that entire country to produce more athletes in that same sport.  

In both cases a single event created a spark that lead to an ignition where the event changed the identity of those who were impacted by it.  It stirred passion and motivated others to change or do something they previously were not inspired to do.

Ignition in Business…

In the early 1960’s when NASA was tasked to put on man on the moon before the end of the century.  President Kennedy engaged a janitor in conversation during one of his visits to NASA.  When sharing his role at NASA, the custodian did not say he was in charge of dumping trash or cleaning the floors. He told the President; he was doing everything he could to help land a man safely on the moon.  It is safe to say the floors were clean.  The rally of the race to space had that janitor ignited with motivation and passion.

Your team doesn’t have to be in a space race to be ignited.  What they do need is a desire to do their task at hand or as Geno Wickman simply coined it in Traction they need to “Want It”.   As their leader your desire is that every person “Wants” their role in your business.  But what are you doing to fuel it, to ignite it, to make them passionate about it?  

  • Do you challenge them? 
  • Do you show appreciation for effort? 
  • Do you encourage them? 
  • Do you provide positive stimuli when appropriate?
  • Do you provide negative stimuli when appropriate?
  • Do they understand how their role impacts the entire company?
  • Do they understand the big picture and are you chasing something meaningful?
  • Do they feel valued as a member of your team?  Are you sure?

All of these are ways to ignite your team.  Ignition can’t be forced, but it can be fueled by external forces that trigger your employees to want to do better, work smarter, try harder, and ultimately push themselves to higher levels.  Not for you, but to satisfy their own desires to succeed. That’s the real power of ignition.

What about you?  Have you considered how the current environment may be impacting motivation and passion in your business?  Are you personally staying ignited in your business?  What are you doing to keep your team ignited? 

As always, we value any comments in the space below.  

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach.