Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history. A young women that challenges Presidents and takes on extremists. A fighter for human rights, brave beyond her years. Where did it come from? Not her culture or from the Taliban. She should not be famous, but she broke through cultural barriers and other figurative shackles. How did she beat the odds? We know of Malala after we heard of her story –shot and almost killed by the Taliban for standing up to them. However, her story started much earlier than that.
Malala was born in the mountains of Pakistan. Her father was a different breed -- a teacher who mentored her. His goal was to help her grow to be an independent person. He was also an open anti-Taliban activist. He even took the military and government of Pakistan to task for not protecting their citizens and treating them appropriately.
When Malala was born her father did not care whether she was a girl or a boy. He saw a person, his child. When he looked at the family tree, generations were listed, but only men. He made a brave declaration when he wrote her name in the family tree. The only female listed.
She is who she is because someone believed in her. Someone had high expectations of her. Remember that when you look at your employees. It can motivate them to live up to our expectations on a daily basis if they have someone who believes in them!