I am a big fan of inspirational messages, I’m sure it goes back to growing up spending time with my grandmother who loved one liners! She gave me a book filled with them, that someone had given her as a gift in 1957. When I was little I thought it was amazing. It was a leather bound appointment calendar with note pages, a ribbon page marker, and all the pages were edged in gold. She wrote her name in the book, but nothing else. Each day had a different inspirational message, similar to the many posters we see now. I could not get enough of them!
One of my favorites featured an image of geese flying in formation. Some of you may be thinking “Hmm, if I saw a real flock of geese flying I would tell those geese, land somewhere else to eat bugs and poop!” Obviously this is not the poster’s intent, but the message on the poster was simple yet complex. If you think of our organization as the flock, you can see the reason why the message is so significant.
The geese are moving in one direction and one goose has the point. In any organization, someone must set the direction. The geese take turns, and once the direction is set, the one in the front falls back at times and someone else takes the lead. In leadership it is always smart to let someone else do the part they do best. You then follow for that part of the journey.
I recently learned of a woman in our Supported Independent Living (SIL) program who’s waiting on a new electric wheelchair and having a hard time navigating her daily routine without it. Leaders within the program reached out to the Enabling Technology (ET) program for the best ways to support her, and when the ET team didn’t have the best resources, they reached out to members of another KenCrest team who did — Early Intervention. They connected the SIL program with Denita Newsome, the Infant/Toddler Program Clinical Coordinator, who is a certified physical therapist! While the young woman we support awaits her new wheelchair, various team members have picked up taking the lead to best support her to be as independent as she was before.
The geese fly together with a shared desire to reach a specific destination, and they’re determined to support each other in the process; the same way we at KenCrest support the many people in our programs and services to achieve the lives and dreams they envision for themselves. It is a fact that with the right formation — the lifting power of many wings (or hands) — can achieve twice the distance of any one “flying” alone. I’m grateful to all the people in our flock and our ability to stay connected to the destination we have chosen — our mission of ensuring that everyone is included, valued, celebrated.