If you’ve ever had the opportunity to manage other people, you have undoubtedly experienced the thrill of witnessing an individual in high performance mode. This is often accompanied by the comment, “Wow, she is on fire!” When we hear that, we recognize this person is passionate about what they do. They are energized, excited, motivated, and focused. Leaders love this because “fire” is highly contagious and spreads rapidly! When even one individual shows that kind of spark, they can have a tremendously positive impact on their team and often the entire company.
A great example of this phenomenon is the San Antonio Spurs. In nearly every game of the NBA finals, there were moments when a player performed an incredible athletic feat—a blocked shot, a steal, or an amazing rebound. It didn’t matter what it was. What mattered was that the moment served to ignite everyone else on the team. Each was elevated to a higher level of play and performance. From fist pumps to high fives, you could immediately observe a shift in momentum.
In one game in particular, Manu Ginobili came off the bench with amazing intensity and triggered an amazing run. At one point, the Spurs team was shooting over 85%, which is unheard of! They went on to win the championship and set a record for shooting percentage. It was an incredible display of the power of fire and how it can impact the performance of an entire team.
This same fire can be unleashed within any individual, and across every team. As a leader, the key to stoking passionate performance is showing employees how to focus on what they do best and helping them overcome what might be getting in their way. If you can do that, you will see confidence rise and innate knowledge, skills, and abilities leveraged in very creative and empowering ways. Like fire, this enthusiasm and energy spreads swiftly and can produce stunning results both for the team and an entire organization.