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Managers: What’s your ‘Inspiration’ Quotient?


What’s your “Inspiration Quotient”? Often, we managers/trainers/coaches completely underestimate our power to inspire. Recently, IA�read an article in our local newspaperA�that demonstrates just how strong that power can be.

How a Homeless Girl Got to Harvard

Khadijah Williamsa��s mother was last spotted living in a storage unit in Los Angeles. But, Khadijah isna��t living there. Shea��s on her way to Harvard. What an improbablea��yet inspiringa��story. For as long as she can remember, she and her family, consisting of her mother, and her sister, have drifted from one homeless shelter to another. Yet, shea��s still not drifting. And, shea��s not just graduating from high school, or getting an entry-level job, or going to a community college, shea��s actually enrolled in Harvard. (Dona��t get me wrong. Ita��s a terrific feat to go from homeless to a job, or to graduate from anything. But, Harvard?…..)

What aspects of Khadijah Williamsa��s life caused her to veer off the homeless, dependent path and toward higher education? What role did her mentors play?

Inspiration, Tenacity, Belief: A Homeless Girl’s Lessons

Here are the powerfulA�motivators that greatly and positively influenced this future Harvard grad’s life.

1. Be aware of the power of your words
Someone told Khadijah she was smart. In the third grade, she scored in the 99th percentile on a state exam. Her teachers told her she was gifted, and put her in special programsa��even though her schooling was intermittenta��and she moved schools constantly. What do you tell people? Do you pick out their strengths and help them accentuate them?

2. Help them believe in their unique talents and skills
Khadijah believed in herself because she believed what her teachers told her about herselfa��the positive. Can you think of someone in your life that believed in you more than you believed in yourself at the time?

3. Give them the encouragement/inspiration from mentors
Khadijah realized she couldna��t do it herself, and sought out organizations and mentors. When is the last time you encouraged someone to take a risk?

4. Help them keep on keeping on. Never give up
Fueled by her belief in herself and the faith others had in her, Khadijah developed unbelievable tenacity to put herself into programs, stay in school, and ignored the taunts of the other students (youa��re homeless, you cana��t do this, etc., etc., etc.)

5. Help them create a better environment
Even though her mother and sister continue to live the homeless lifestyle, Khadijah has never blamed her relatives or her environment.

Yes. Ita��s a challenging business. But, you have skills the agents are hungry for. From these five points above, you can see the absolute power of the mentor. You have the ability to change people’s lives for the better!

Who/what inspires you? Let me know who and what inspires you and why by putting a comment on either of my blogs on this subject (1-2 paragraphs, please). Simply write a comment on the blog, telling me who and/or what inspires you.

Managersa�� tip: Why not do this as an exercise with your agents? Youa��ll inspire them and re-light the fires of desire so theya��ll be eager and enthusiastic to do what needs to be done to get back into the action.

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