Set Expectations and Remove the Barriers: Unleash Performance

headerimage01What would you do if you had no limitations, no barriers, no boundaries? What if you faced no obstacles, what would you choose to do with your time – with your LIFE?

I recently came across the story of Jennifer Bricker, a person who simply didn’t SEE obstacles in spite of their glaring presence. Do yourself a favor and watch this five minute video of Jennifer’s story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3IVRys63x4

Jennifer’s attitude – and accomplishments that stem directly from that attitude are simply amazing! Or are they? Perhaps to someone who sees obstacles and shortcomings, the story is incredible. To Jen and her adoptive parent, Jen’s accomplishments are treated as no big deal. In fact, in the video when someone mentions Jen’s handicap pointing to her wheelchair, Jen’s response is, “I’m not handicapped; I only need the wheelchair so I don’t get all dirty.”

However, I want to talk about Jennifer’s adoptive parents, Sharon and Gerald Bricker. They selected Jen for adoption with full realization that Jen had no legs; in fact, it was clear that Jen’s biological parents gave her up for adoption because of the challenges they saw in the future.

Sharon and Gerald raised Jen – as well as their three boys – with a single, simple rule: “Never say the word ‘can’t’.”

The result? A legless girl goes on to become state champion in women’s tumbling. She participates in volleyball, baseball, and even basketball (“she can steal the ball”)!

Obviously Jen’s got genetic talent; her biological sister (wasn’t THAT a twist in the interview?), Dominique Maceanu, was the youngest of the Magnificent Seven women gymnasts in the 1996 Atlantic Olympics. However, it’s equally clear that talent – Jen’s talent – would have likely gone untapped without the support, guidance, and encouragement of her adoptive parents.

When I watched the video for the first time, I was overwhelmed with the impact these parents had on their child. As leaders and managers, we have the same power to unleash the potential in our employees. With our guidance, support, and “never say ‘can’t” attitude, who knows the heights to which our employees can soar?

Adopt an employee today; become their coach, their support, their biggest fan. And discover the potential YOU have as a leader! It’ll be inspirational!

Read more valuable leadership and management-related articles in this month’s Unleash Your Leadership Potential newsletter…

September 2014

Author: STEP Consulting