When therapist and counselor Amy O’Dell gave birth to her son, Jacob, life as she knew it would never be the same. At an early age, Jacob was diagnosed with pervasive developmental delay, a condition characterized by setbacks in socialization and communication skills. Doctors told her not to get her hopes up that Jacob would be able to lead a normal life, but Amy knew her son had more potential than the doctors assumed. All he needed was an intensive and hands-on approach to his learning needs. When she couldn’t find the help her son truly needed, she took matters into her own hands.
Now, Amy serves as founder and executive director of Jacob’s Ladder, a nonprofit school and research center Amy established years ago for her son. The two-campus school located in Roswell, Georgia, specializes in neurodevelopmental education for children with special needs. Over the past 25 years, more than 4,000 children from around the globe have benefited from the program, enabling them to unlock their potential and build lives once thought impossible. As one of the first to go through the program, Amy’s son now serves as a teacher at Jacob’s Ladder School and helps children once like himself reach new possibilities.
As a special needs education pioneer, Amy sets an example to leaders about bringing out a person’s full potential. Great leaders serve as teachers, mentors and coaches. They unlock the potential of the people around them by challenging, encouraging and supporting them to envision new possibilities. Leaders like Amy equip their people with the tools they need to succeed by investing in their development, whether in the form of time, energy or resources. Great leaders strive to be the best versions of themselves and do everything they can to empower others to do the same.
At Leadercast Women—Amplify, our Leadercast Women event designed to address some of the common challenges women face in their leadership, Amy will teach leaders how to use their voice and influence to help unlock the potential of the people they lead. She will share the stage with four fellow female leaders who will embolden women from around the globe to stand up, speak out and amplify their voices, ideas and passions in a noisy world.
Are you bringing your true self into your leadership? Join Amy at Leadercast Women—Amplify to learn how to use Identity Attunement to amplify your true, authentic voice as a leader. Attend the Nov. 9 broadcast in person at a location near you.