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Belgian Shot-Putter’s Heroic Hurdles: A Testament to Teamwork and Company Culture

By Jessica Epperson

Jessica Epperson is Program Manager at IntelliBridge, managing a wide range of programs for the Department of Homeland Security. As a leader in IntelliBridge’s Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging (DIEB) team, Jessica plays a crucial role in cultivating a work environment that embraces diversity and inclusion while fostering effective communication.

In the world of sports, exceptional feats of athleticism often capture our attention and inspire us. But what happens when a remarkable act transcends the boundaries of sport, teaching us profound lessons about teamwork and the importance of lending a helping hand? Enter the Belgian shot-putter who recently became an internet sensation after running hurdles to save their team from disqualification. This remarkable display of camaraderie highlights the significance of company culture and the values that guide us, just like the core principles of IntelliBridge: Integrity, Initiative, Inclusion, Ingenuity, and Inspiration.

During the women’s 100m hurdles event, this past weekend’s 2023 European Team Championships in Poland, the Belgian team encountered a significant predicament on Saturday when their two hurdlers were unable to compete due to injury. The stakes were high, as the team risked disqualification if they failed to field any athletes in the race. Stepping up to the challenge, Jolien Boumkwo, an accomplished shot put and hammer throw athlete, heeded the call of her team. Despite finishing seventh in the shot put event just a day prior, Boumkwo fearlessly took on the 100m hurdles for Belgium. With meticulous precision, she navigated each hurdle, crossing the finish line in last place with a time of 32.81 seconds, significantly slower than the winner’s time. Nevertheless, Boumkwo’s remarkable feat secured two crucial points for Belgium, safeguarding them from disqualification and preserving their position in Division I.

While Boumkwo’s time may not have placed her atop the leaderboard, her act of bravery and selflessness transcends mere statistics. By answering her team’s desperate call for assistance, Boumkwo exemplified the values of dedication, unity, and sacrifice. Her willingness to step out of her comfort zone and help her teammates when they needed it the most embodies the very essence of IntelliBridge’s core values. Boumkwo’s selfless act serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of teamwork, demonstrating that triumph is not solely determined by individual performance but by the support and unity within a team. This principle holds true not only in the realm of sports but also in the corporate world, where IntelliBridge’s core values are deeply rooted.

The remarkable story of Jolien Boumkwo carries a valuable lesson for individuals and organizations alike. Just as the success of a sports team relies on a strong sense of camaraderie and mutual support, a company’s success rests on its company culture and the willingness of its employees to pitch in and help one another. A supportive and inclusive work environment fosters a culture where individuals go above and beyond their defined roles to ensure collective success.

IntelliBridge, a leading company known for its commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive work culture, exemplifies the values that Jolien Boumkwo displayed during her act of selflessness. The company places great emphasis on the values of Integrity, Initiative, Inclusion, Ingenuity, and Inspiration – values that empower employees to support each other and reach new heights together.

Integrity: Boumkwo’s decision to run hurdles despite the challenges showcased her unwavering integrity and commitment to her team’s success. At IntelliBridge, we measure what we do, by how we do it. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards and ethics and never lose sight of the mission.

Initiative: Boumkwo’s initiative to step out of her comfort zone and help her teammates highlights the importance of taking the initiative and going beyond one’s defined role. embracing initiative nurtures a proactive culture that motivates employees to surpass their defined responsibilities and actively contribute to the overall achievement, fostering an empowering environment.

Inclusion: Boumkwo’s actions exemplify the spirit of inclusivity by embracing the collective goal of the team, regardless of individual differences or specializations. This highlights the significance of diverse perspectives and the fostering of an inclusive environment where everyone’s unique skills and strengths are recognized and utilized.

Ingenuity: Boumkwo’s creative solution to the team’s dilemma demonstrated her ability to think outside the box, showing that ingenuity can lead to exceptional results. In the corporate world, the ability to think innovatively and employ problem-solving skills empowers teams to conquer obstacles and discover inventive solutions to intricate issues. At IntelliBridge, by fostering teamwork and collective pursuit of customer objectives, we encourage the development of unique and cutting-edge solutions that lead to collaborative success.

Inspiration: Boumkwo’s act has inspired countless individuals, demonstrating the power of one person’s actions to inspire others and create a positive impact. In the same way, IntelliBridge nurtures an environment where employees serve as beacons of inspiration for their peers, igniting motivation and driving them toward extraordinary accomplishments. We aim to inspire our employees to embody compassionate and empathetic leadership, instilling a sense of trust and confidence in our customers.

The heartwarming story of the Belgian shot-putter’s hurdle-running heroics reminds us that strong company culture is built on a foundation of shared values and a willingness to support one another. IntelliBridge’s core values align perfectly with the lessons we can learn from this extraordinary act of teamwork and selflessness. As we witness such remarkable acts, both on the sports field and in the workplace, let us remember the importance of embracing these values, fostering a culture that empowers every individual to rise above their limitations and achieve greatness together.

About IntelliBridge

IntelliBridge is a premier partner to homeland security, federal law enforcement, defense, and civilian agency customers who helps solve complex technology, intelligence, and mission support challenges. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, with locations and staff nationwide, IntelliBridge makes its customers successful by delivering best-in-class solutions through a combination of deep domain expertise, advanced technology, and passion for the mission. IntelliBridge is a portfolio company of Enlightenment Capital. To learn more or join the team, visit www.intellibridge.us.

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