I was lucky to be “just like” my grandmother.
Now, many of us don’t think of grandmothers as role models for leadership. They bake cookies and take us to the zoo. But my grandmother was a family legend. She could play a concerto on the piano after the concert – without music. She took two years of Greek and Latin in one summer to gain admission to a competitive college.
All families have stories about the people and events in their history. My grandmother was a slight woman but a force to be reckoned with. And I was “just like her”. I loved music, I was curious…and I loved custard. Really! Loved custard – just like her.
My grandmother was terribly disappointed when her mother, a woman from the “old country”, ultimately refused to let her go to college. “College is for your brothers and I need you here”. A blow to be sure. As the years went on, my grandmother grew into the role of matriarch but never saw her academic or professional goals achieved.
It can be difficult and challenging to follow in someone’s footsteps. But it can also be a gift. I am grateful to have been inspired to finish her “unfinished business”. I reached higher than I might have, with the desire to fill her shoes.
Who have you been compared to in your family? How has this impacted your achievement and success?