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With Purpose Blog

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Turn On Your Business Power Switch

“Welcome to Portland, Oregon where the local time is 5:15 p.m. and a comfortable 73 degrees. We trust that you enjoyed your trip and on behalf of Southwest Airlines, the captain, and the crew we thank you for choosing us to meet your airline needs.” The flight attendant droned on, but quite frankly I was preoccupied with the final leg of our trip and in no mood to hear the remainder of her canned speech. The thoughts of another four hour journey by car simply added to my irritability.

Deplaning we quickly claimed our baggage, located our vehicle, and soon were off and running once again. The starting gate was lifted as the attendant happily took our fee for the privilege of parking. A quick glance at the dashboard revealed the need to respond to the gas gauge’s shift to the far left indicating that a stop at the service station would be most prudent. 

With a full tank of gas, trips to the restroom, and a reminder to myself to enjoy the journey the letter D was shifted into and off we went…for approximately 20 feet.

Without explanation the engine quit and no amount of coaxing, additional turns of the key, pumping on the gas pedal or prayer was going to bring the engine back to life

.What happened? It was running fine when we pulled into the service station. The 20 feet we had traveled after pumping the gas was uneventful. Well, there was that dip in the gas station lot that caused the rear bumper to hit the asphalt with a thud, but what had that to do with the engine?

There we sat, motionless. Traveling thousands of miles in a matter of hours and now held captive by an engine that wouldn’t. Making matters worse was the gas station attendant’s most welcome announcement that he, of course, was no mechanic. The duty mechanic would not be in till Monday morning.

Fortunately, there were friends to impose upon and so we made the most of it. Early Monday morning found us back at the scene of the crime where the mechanic was already looking at the vehicle.

 Hallelujah, things were looking up.

 But, I could immediately tell that things were not going well by the puzzled look on his face. “Diagnostically,” he said, “nothing was wrong with the car. Trying to appear somewhat knowledgeable I asked about the fuel pump. “Nope, everything tested out just fine. It just won’t turn over,” he replied.

 Biting my tongue from saying something sarcastic I said, “Now what?” To which he responded, “Tell me what happened.” The rehearsed story was ready to go. “The car ran fine from the airport to the gas station where we filled the car up. The car turned over right away, shifted into gear, left the pump area, hit the dip right over there and then the car stopped”, I stated in exasperation.

 “How hard did you hit the back end?” he asked. “It was a hard bang, but no damage”, I sighed. “Hang on,” he said with a wink.

Leaving me he shouted back over his shoulder, “What year is your car?” “1984”, I said.

 Like a bloodhound that had captured the scent of its prey I saw him thumbing through his thick greasy manuals. Reaching one particular page he began to skim his finger down one of the pages. Stopping three quarters of the way down the page I saw his lips move and then break out into a smile.

 Leaving his office he headed back to the car, but to my surprise went directly to the trunk of the vehicle and not to the motor.

 Reaching into the right side of an enclosed compartment, he found what he was looking for and performed some secretive action. “Try to turn it over now,” he requested.

 Getting behind the steering wheel I turned the inserted key and the welcome roar of the engine signaled its resurrection back to life. “How did, what did you do?” I asked incredulously.

Proudly he replied, “This make, model and year is equipped with a safety turn off switch that shuts down the flow of gasoline to the engine when there is a big bump in the rear area of the vehicle. It’s a safety feature."

Today, perhaps, your business (business) has stalled and a "hidden" power switch needs to be "toggled on."  

That lack of fuel flowing to your company's engine could be a lack of goal setting, strategic planning, communication issues, leadership development, etc.

Reach out to us today!

We at With Purpose can provide that mechanical "know how" and help you continue on with your successful business journey. 

Chris AirdComment