Crossing the “bridge” to Ignite

Paul Bolton (IL '15), manager of alumni relations, Spalding University

Paul Bolton (IL ’15), manager of alumni relations, Spalding University

by Paul Bolton, Ignite Louisville Class of 2015 (October – April 2015) —

In the days leading up to the Ignite Louisville retreat, I only knew objective information about Thursday and Friday. Pulling in to the retreat center, I crossed the wooden bridge into a new experience. I had no expectations as to what I would leave with Friday.

When I walked into the retreat meeting room I began to take it all in. My mind kicked into overdrive with questions; How do I fit in with all these amazing professionals? Who are the others I will be paired with for the Yum Ignite challenge? Why can’t we know today? Why am I thinking about all of this now? When I finally stopped the ongoing internal conversation, I began to really let it all sink in. The next two days involved learning from others in the class, the Leadership Louisville staff, alumni and a professional consultant, who focused on self-awareness coaching. The retreat was a catalyst for change, taking some of our conventional ideas of a team and challenging them with personal data and reflection. We are preparing to embark on an amazing journey. The foundation has been built on a stronger sense of who we are as individuals and as team members.

Driving back over that wooden bridge Friday, I left with a better sense of who I am. I traveled home thinking about the team for the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge, obviously smiling, you would too if you got to work with these professionals. I also left with a sense of pride. The members of Ignite Louisville will push toward a goal for each of our non-profits. Our community will experience change through the efforts of the competition. Everyone involved will leave like I did on Friday. We will all walk away April 15th with a smile. There will be one victor, but many winners.