Famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti shares a story from when he was a child growing up that made a great impact upon his life. Pavarotti says, “When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song. He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college. On graduating, I asked my father, ‘Shall I be a teacher or a singer?’
‘Luciano,’ my father replied, ‘if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.’
“I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera. And now I think whether it’s laying bricks- writing a book—whatever we choose, we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that’s the key. Choose one chair.”
Had Pavarotti made the choice to teach, I believe he would have succeeded. The point is, you must find the one chair that is right for you and stick to it. Leadership has many demands and challenges, and your responsibility is to not fall between the chairs. Have you chosen your chair?
© 2012 Doug Dickerson
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