Be the Spark

March 14, 2017

“Our job sometimes is simply to be the spark, help build confidence, and then get out of the way.”

“Sometimes, empowering just one person is all it takes to push an entire group.”

George Couros  from The Innovators Mindset

At the dinner table a few nights ago, my husband and I discussed the idea of empowering others, especially our teenage son, and how it’s the KEY to influencing effective change. As parents, we boost Kaleb’s confidence while instilling principles of life, but we also allow him to make many choices on his own. When our son was a little fella, this process seemed much easier. Now, in the teenage years, my husband and I must frequently remind each other of our parenting commitment. The truth is, Kaleb’s choices often blow our minds–for the good! Had we placed limitations and forced him to comply with our way of doing things, he’d never explore the world around him as he has. Kaleb is an inspiration to many, and I’m in awe of the lessons learned from his life-explorations.

As an educator and future administrator, I want to remember the words of George Couros in Part 2 of The Innovator’s Mindset (quoted above) as well as the approach to parenting my only son. We must be the spark of encouragement to those around us and model risk-taking while empowering others to embrace the innovator’s mindset. Then…we need to get out of the way and let the fire spread! I wholeheartedly believe that empowering one can start a wildfire of positive change. Be the spark!


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  • Eric Braun March 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Being the Spark is definitely a great first step, but it’s important to be the fuel, too. The flame of passion and progress needs this to be sustainable. I’ve seen a lot of potential peter out due to lack of continuous support. This is definitely a hard job, but it needs to happen to spur on innovation in the young and the old. Thanks for great thoughts!

  • Judy March 15, 2017 at 5:47 am

    So true! And I don’t think it takes much effort, but having a consistent approach is key. I really thought the idea of “7 touches” from the Innovator’s Mindset spoke to this notion. If done in a personal, non-judgemental and caring manner, I think it’s quite impactful. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    • Tara M Martin March 15, 2017 at 7:30 am

      I like the idea of 7-touches. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Judy.

  • Charlie G. March 15, 2017 at 4:43 am

    This is a great post! Centered around the catalyst that will bring change. Light the fire, get out of the way!

    • Tara M Martin March 15, 2017 at 7:29 am

      Thanks, Charlie.

  • April Padalino March 15, 2017 at 12:07 am

    What a great reminder to us all. Whether we are lighting the spark or planting a seed. We need to let what is started room to grow. Otherwise, we risk smothering the flame or over watering the seed.

    • Tara M Martin March 15, 2017 at 7:28 am

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, April. So true.