Hopefully you read yesterdays post “My Mitten Monday” or perhaps earlier this year “A Story about Change Leadership“. If not then you need to know that my youngest son has mild hemiplegia. You also need to know that it’s Hemiplegia Awareness Week 2013 and it’s a great opportunity to add our support to the work being done by the charity HemiHelp.
My youngest son is 9 and like millions of others around the world was inspired by last years London 2012 Paralympics. He loves his sport, especially football, and has been keenly playing squash for a few years now. This summer he’s started wheelchair basketball and that’s provided him with different kind of challenge & inspiration.
With maturity his awareness of his disability is growing as he looks at what he might like to be “when he grows up”. Interestingly, his focus is not on what he can’t be – there’s no sense of disappointment as he looks to the future – rather on what he could be. In this mix and inspired by the paralympics he believes he could become a paralympian. It’s not quite an ambition or a dream, it’s more like a door that is very open for him in his future. That he feels that potential is there if he wants to take that journey is just brilliant and I love it.
Grown Up Potential
The power of roles models and what they can inspire is informing my sons attitude to the future. There’s more than that though… No one has told him (not even himself) that it is not possible. No one has shut that door on him.
How often do we adults experience that? Who gives us confidence that there are similar “open doors” for us in our futures? When do we show our appreciation & support for others “open doors”?
I think as adults it’s easy to lose sight of this. I think it’s common to ignore the grown up potential we could see in ourselves. That, in the workplace, we don’t tend to nurture this potential is quite insidious… Organisations might like to talk about “talent” and “talent strategy” but more often than not this excludes. More often than not it moulds what the organisations wants, not what could be. It nurtures the hierarchy not the individual. Self interest rules.
Potential is a journey. I believe we can strive to fulfil our own interests and still nurture & inspire the potential in others. We just have to care enough to try. We have to help others appreciate their “open doors”.
Will you join me?