Harry DeLeyer's future seemed predictable and starry.
A gifted horseback rider, he was a shoo-in for the Dutch Olympic team and the 1940 games.
But his "Plan A" got derailed when World War II stopped the games.
Plan B: DeLeyer moved to America and started a riding school
Having little money, he bought his horses at the kind of auction that sold them by the pound.
One day, a snowstorm caused DeLeyer to arrive late and miss the sale.
Leaving without the lesson horse he needed, he had the unnerving feeling of being watched from between the slats of a horse van bound for the slaughterhouse.
He walked over to look inside and discovered a big, white horse looking back at him.
"This could be a good horse." He thought.
He bought him and named him Snowman.
DeLeyer tried to excite some potential in his new addition by training him on low jumps, but the former plough horse showed no interest.
Two years later, DeLeyer sold the horse to a neighbor for twice what he paid for him.
But Snowman kept running away, only to be discovered by DeLeyer back in his stable yard.
The horseman was surprised, because he knew several high fences separated the horse from his former home.
Realizing he was a stunningly capable jumper, DeLeyer bought the horse back and began competing with him.
The pair became two-time Madison Square Garden Jumper Champions and Snowman was two times Horse of the Year.
They weren't full-on Kardashiams, but close. They appeared on TV shows, in LIFE magazine and hosted a fan club for years.
How did a horseman with a keen eye for developing talent miss the potential in the greatest horse he'd ever know?
He set the bar too low to bring out the best in a champion.
Low expectations are dangerous.
Don't rely on someone, even a talented someone, to spot your potential.
P.S. CONFESSION: I'm a horse lover and if you know a horse lover, they'll appreciate this story. Even more importantly, if you see the potential of someone in your world, use this post and please tell them. Don't assume they know. Don't you remember every single person who believed in you and told you? I sure do. Chances to do this are rare in life. Choose a button from the yellow bar below and give a boost to someone you know.
The best thing you can do for your career is help someone else with theirs.
In that spirit...
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