Your inner desires and talents can be the key to your success, if you follow them.
Giuseppe was the son of a fisherman. His father was the son of a fisherman. His father’s father was the son of a fisherman—you get the idea. It was a family that had fished for its livelihood for many generations.
The sea, with its rolling waves and salty breezes, was in their blood. Giuseppe’s father was proud of the family’s fishing heritage, and when he brought his family to America he brought the tradition with them. He established himself on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and expected Giuseppe to work by his side.
Giuseppe was proud of his heritage too. He diligently tried to follow the wishes of his father and the family tradition. He listened attentively and watched the fishermen. He tried to work alongside his father. But no matter how hard he tried, the boats made him seasick and the smell of fish didn’t help.
What a disappointment Giuseppe was to his father. How could he be so prone to sickness and so ill-suited for a profession that had been in the family for generations? He wasn’t too sick to play with his friends, so why was he letting his father down?
Giuseppe was unable to continue on the wharf so he quit fishing and found work doing odd jobs in the town. He helped supply his family with extra money, but that didn’t satisfy his father. He had broken tradition and that was unforgivable.
Luckily, Giuseppe discovered he had a rare talent. He applied the same diligent effort and attentive study to this talent as he had to learning to be a fisherman—but with far better results. Not only was he able to earn a living, he became quite famous for his skill. Perhaps he even made his dad proud. He certainly impressed others and was eventually idolized by millions. Giuseppe became a legend in his own time. You know him by his American name: Joe DiMaggio, the famous New York Yankees baseball player.
The situation Joe found himself in is quite common for anyone who has tried to break away from an expected traditional path. Striking out to try something new is a fearful challenge for many people. It takes great personal desire and determination. It is often met with endless skepticism and criticism
If Joe had remained a fisherman, not only would he have been sick and miserable, but more importantly, he would have missed developing something far greater in himself. Joe DiMaggio is an example of being able to look at your own life, take an inner desire, and with courage, follow it to success.
Perhaps you broke the mold of family tradition in pursuing your own path. If so, you can relate to Joe. Do you feel confined to an expected path or are you able to break away and follow your dreams? Consider the following:
- Part of your role as a leader is to coach others—to develop their abilities to grow and succeed. Help them discover opportunities that will provide them additional challenges and satisfaction.
Take advantage of aptitude assessments and professional feedback instruments for both you and your team members to identify potential skill areas and new competencies.