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.