I send out my Weekly E-couragement every Wednesday Morning to the clients I work with.
I want to share the following inspirational story about leadership with you. I hope that it provides a bit of encouragement to you and your staff!
Frankly Speaking . . .
Don Bennett was the first amputee to climb to the summit of Mount Rainier. That’s 14,410 feet on one leg and two crutches!
During a difficult portion of the climb, Bennett and his team had to cross an ice field. To get across the ice, the climbers had to put crampons on their boots to prevent slipping and to dig into the ice for leverage and stability. Unfortunately, with two crutches, and only one boot with a crampon, Bennett got stuck in the ice. He determined that the only way to get across the ice field was to fall face forward onto the ice, pull himself as far forward as he could, stand up, and then fall forward again. He was going to get across the ice field by falling down.
On that particular climb, his teenage daughter, Kathy, was with him, and she saw what was happening to her dad. While the team leader cut holes in the ice so Bennett could hop onto clear snow and traverse the ice field, Bennett’s daughter stayed by his side through the entire four-hour struggle! As Bennett hopped, she shouted in his ear: “You can do it, Dad. You’re the best Dad in the world. You can do it!”
“There is no way that I was not going to make it across that ice field with my daughter shouting in my ear!” Bennett cried, after successfully completing his climb. “You want to know what leadership is? What my daughter Kathy did was leadership!”
Kathy’s belief in her father and her verbal encouragement touched a place deep within Bennett, strengthening his resolve and commitment.
Now – just imagine how important our own beliefs and words are to our staff. We can either choose to encourage them to higher levels of achievement – or, leave them in the ice of fear.
As teachers and educational leaders the choice is ours . . .