Leaders who Make or Break You
Once upon a time…
There was a little boy called Albert who really liked to paint.
He used to be the first out of his household to wake up and finish all his chores so that he could have more time to get to the river and catch the sunset on a blank sheet of paper, again and again.
His dad looked at little Albert and thought to himself ”He will be the one who will inherit my business. He is so hard working and persevering! He is the one.”
His mother listened to dad’s thoughts and was afraid; because she knew the real reason why little Albert worked so hard. But she didn’t say a thing and she swallowed her pain.
Dad took little Albert under his wing at the local shop he owned. He told him: ”Albert one day this could all be yours. The only thing you have to do is… everything I tell you to do.”
Albert didn’t want the shop. But he also knew he did not want to say No to his dad and bring forward his wrath.
So he took the job. He thought “how hard it could be?”
He learned fast. Running a shop, turns out, was way easier than he thought.
Sales went up. He was pleased he could hire more people, and give jobs to the childhood friends he used to paint and play by the river with.
But most of all he was also pleased he could redecorate the entire shop. He painted a new logo for it, changed the colors, the lightings, everything but the name on the business. That was his father’s and he did not want to touch it.
I mean, yes, he did not have time to paint every day as he used to. Truth be told, he stopped painting long time ago but hey, painting is for kids after all… Now he was a grown up and he had to do grown up stuff.
Be careful what you wish for…
As with any other fairytale, the Joy does not last forever. As the local shop was growing bigger and bigger and Albert opened up a location after the other, troubles started to pile up.
His brothers and sisters were starting to challenge Albert as the owner of the business. He was mad!!! Where were they when he worked all those late nights? Where were they when he redesigned the logo? Where were they when he changed the local suppliers he knew his entire lifetime with others far far away that had better prices? Do they not see how much money Albert helped them make? Do they not see that it was through his hard work and ideas that they all managed to buy their own houses, and their cars and vacations?
This is the story Albert was telling to himself to forget that deep down inside… he wanted nothing more than to get back to the river and paint again.
What stories are you telling yourself?
Once upon a time I was a little girl who, God knows why and how, had a lot of talents. I loved to sing. I had my own “radio show” at 6 years old and it was super entertaining :) (I still have the voice tapes and it still cracks me up. A full show with music, contest, news, commercials, etc.)
I was the first one in my neighborhood to learn how to read and write. I was fascinated by the freedom it gave me to access any information whenever I wanted: from reading all the labels on shampoos and shower gels (90’s kids represent!) to finally being ready to read subtitles and books.
I also wrote. Poetry, short stories.
I was among the first ones in class all my life.
I went to singing competitions that somehow got bigger and bigger. The bigger the competition, the more s*** it had alongside it. It stopped being about the joy of singing.
In high school where every teacher tried to tell me what I should do and which of my talents I should follow, my Psychology teacher told me, in the most random and detached way: “You have a gift for connecting random events. I think you “might” make a good psychologist.”
She stopped me in my tracks.
I could make a good psychologist?
I kind of hated high school psychology. It was not easy for me to study it. I did not have the highest grades. And yet she told me I had a gift for it. And she talked as if I could pursue that “if I wanted to.”
Long story short I pursued that in a million ways: studied psychology, master’s program, countless other certifications and classes and most importantly a career in HR.
All my life people have told me what I am good at and what I should do.
And I frequently ask myself: who made me who I am today?
Was it my high school Psychology teacher who saw a gift in me where I didn’t?
Was it my Maths teacher in 5th grade who taught college level maths to kids — and ended up creating one genius and 29 kids terrified by her class?
Was it the ”meanest” teachers of Psychology who gave me their autographed books and saw my hard work and my determination?
Was it the manager who made me work twice as hard and promised me a job that she ended up giving to someone else? Or the one who fought with everyone to help me make my dream of getting a coaching certification come true?
The “mad” CEO that told me my junior level idea is amazing and to “go for it girl!!! Do everything you need to do to make it work”?
Was it the picture perfect, all suited up CEO who told me, in a conference room, that ”this job is too hard for you and you will never make it”? Or the CEO who hugged me and my husband at a Christmas party and then had massive fun on the dance floor? :)
I think it was all of them. I took all of those stories and words, and many others, and turned them into fuel for my dream.
I really do write my own Life story.
It’s got heroes and princes.
It’s got monsters and demons.
It’s got trials of fire.
It’s got smiles and pots of gold.
But most importantly it’s a … true story. 😊😊😊