Allowing People to Shine

Bev CouzensNews, News & Events

In the summer holidays my son was invited by a local fashion store to model some of their merchandise.  He readily accepted and loved the experience as you can see by the smile on his face.  He came home proud to show me the fabulous hoodie he had been given as a gift.

It got me thinking about how we as leaders need to be thinking of maximising the potential of our colleagues. 

As my son has significant learning difficulties and lives with a life-threatening health condition it is unlikely he will be able to manage any form of full-time employment.  As his Mum I am therefore committed to maximising his potential and providing opportunities for him, so that he can contribute to society and lead a full and fulfilled life.  This might mean part time work that he is able to do, or even supported volunteering. It doesn’t matter, as long as what he does matters to him. 

In the workplace some people will shine, and others will struggle.  Some will strive for career progression and others will prefer to plod at their own pace.  Our role as leaders is to recognise and support all colleagues, so that they feel valued and contribute in a way that is important to them.  At the same time we should not underestimate the power we have if we demonstrate we believe in them even when they might not believe in themselves.

When my son was deciding if he wanted to accept the modelling invitation that morning, the conversation in my house was “I’m not sure I want to” and evolved into “well I might just go and see but not do the modelling”.  When Ben got there he was swept up in the moment by the enthusiasm of the shop manager and her staff who gave him the confidence he needed to do the job.  So, he had a success as a result of others believing in him. 

Sometimes all we need to do is show our belief in others for them to shine.