I recently learned about a woman named Jennifer Bricker and her story completely inspired me. Her story will make you feel like it’s a movie but in fact, it is very real. She was born without legs. Her biological parents abandoned her at the hospital after seeing her condition. She was adopted by a couple who were committed to raising her just as they had raised their three boys–without limitations. They instilled in her the confidence that she can actually do anything she wants. They made her realize that she can pursue her dream of becoming a gymnast though she has no legs. They always told her, “Can’t Is Not a Part of Your Vocabulary.” She believed this as that was a consistent message she heard on a regular basis.
Many would have doubted her intentions or dreams as it’s tough to imagine a successful gymnast without legs. But she proved everyone with her efforts. This brave girl surpassed each and every hurdle that appeared in her way and thus accomplished her dream.
As leaders, what are the consistent messages that we give our team? Are they messages of support? How do our direct reports know that we believe in their skills and abilities? To Personify Leadership, you have to Be a Leader Who Provides Direction and Support. People work with more enthusiasm and drive when they know they have the support and encouragement of their leaders.
Here is a short video clip of Jennifer’s story.