Start your own fires. Begin the burn so your ideas catch fire and spread throughout the organization.It takes 3 ingredients to start and sustain a fire. Make sure you’ve got all 3 ready to go when you launch your next plan.
Fire has been around since before Prometheus stole it from Zeus and shared it with us mere mortals.
We won’t revisit the penalty that Zeus bestowed, but suffice it to say, Prometheus probably regretted his thievery.
In some ways, this article could accompany my previous post, Are You Ready to Start Your Own “Bonfire of the Vanities”?, where we discussed how important it is to toss our vanities into the fire to give us the freedom to pursue our dreams and goals.
But today, our focus is different.
What does it take to start a fire?
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire begin it with weak straws.~William Shakespeare, in Julius Caesar
Let’s get started by figuring out how you can light your own fires to make sure your business is moving in the right direction.
What does it require?
These are the three essential components of fire.
1. What’s the Fuel Source?
You can start by using your vision, strategy and value proposition to provide the fuel source for your successful growth.
We laugh at the old saw, “I don’t know where I’m going but I’m making good time,” but it’s whistling in the graveyard of the busyness that consumes us.
More than ever, a clear, crisp and simple value proposition is needed to focus your limited resources on those activities that will have the greatest impact on your success.
So, to light your own fire under your business.
Make sure your fuel source is well established, with a powerful vision and strategy that will provide a constant source of fuel to sustain the flames for the foreseeable future.
2. How are you going to get the fire started?
Secondly, you need ignition.
Without ignition, no amount fuel of will burn – and action is the most powerful ignition cap you have.
Ready – Fire – Aim is the mantra you need to adopt, today more than ever.
I’ve said before that chance favors those in motion, and to ignite your vision, you need to take action now.
It would be ideal if you had a clear path all the way to the finish line, but it isn’t essential.
Unlike in football where the field is always 100 yards long and the goal line is always a measurable distance away, the goal line of our business success is elusive and changes all the time.
We do know, however, that the closer we get, the more clearly the goal line can be seen. Even if the ultimate outcome is unclear and you have to make adjustments along the way, take action now. Straight ahead.
It will announce to your employees, customers and suppliers that you’re here to play and stay … and are determined to take charge of the things you can control.
3. You Need Oxygen to keep the fire burning
Finally, like life itself, fire doesn’t burn without oxygen.
Take the largest bonfire of combustible material you can build, pour kerosene all over it and get the biggest match you can find.
No oxygen – no fire.
Our people, and the organizational structure within which they work, supply the oxygen that allows us take our vision, ignite it with action and expand it with the greatest possible impact.
Of course, fires can easily burn out of control.
As we’ve seen all over California this summer, forest fires are notoriously difficult to manage in a wide-open environment surrounded by an unlimited oxygen supply.
It’s equivalent to deploying people throughout your organization without any structure, without established processes or procedures.
A whole lot of oxygen is consumed, but the fire is spreading haphazardly with an unpredictable and usually unfavorable result.
Unless you channel the energy of your team and focus them intensely on clear, attainable goals, you’ll spend all of your time putting out someone else’s fires instead of lighting your own.
Close the leadership gaps now!
Most of the time these unbidden fires we’re putting out are the result of leadership gaps that we have allowed to fester.
Those leadership gaps offer an easy path for small brush fires to escape, throw off sparks that ignite the next set of fires … and pretty soon we have a raging fire that’s out of control and threatens to burn our business to the ground.
Make sure you’re building the strongest possible leadership team so you can shut down these escape routes and devote your limited resources to only those fires that you set.
You can’t make it too simple
In our quest to simplify, what could be clearer than this simple formula to jumpstart your business?
- Create the fuel source by setting a clear vision, direction and purpose.
- Ignite the flames with calculated action.
- Spread the flames by channeling your limited people and financial resources to optimize your chances of success.
Make an effort this week to apply this simple formula to get some fires started.
It’s the best way to burn your way to success.
Question: What does it take in your organization to get something moving? How would you start the fire? Share your thoughts by visiting our Facebook Page or @Exkalibur on Twitter. Let’s figure this out together.