I was born in the United States Virgin Islands and am a first generation Caribbean-American. The only reason I bring it up in this blog post on leadership today is because this month is National Caribbean-American Month.
Models, Artists, Musicians, Political figures, Activists, Athletes, Educators, Religious leaders, Historians, Comedians, Chefs.
We have well known Caribbean-Americans in every one of these career paths. But without self-control and personal leadership, they wouldn’t be known anywhere. Honestly, they probably could have done well at more than one path also.
Harry Belafonte, Tim Duncan, Sidney Poitier, Colin Powell, Nicki Minaj, Shirley Chisholm, J. Raymond Jones(political strategist called The Harlem fox), Kelsey Grammer and Arturo Alfonso Schomburg(important to the Harlem Renaissance) are some of the people who has gained relevance in the United States.
But to start on the paths chosen, the activist didn’t at the same time study comedy…the historian didn’t study culinary arts. Something was sacrificed in the beginning so that they can achieve the understanding needed for them to be great in their chosen lane.
I’ve observed that many young adults are dazed by the lure of fame and being known so much so that they will try anything…multiple things for a spotlight…except focus on being excellent in one thing first! The people who became excellent in the path they chose for their life, they all took the years before being known, studied and raised their understanding of their practice. So when they “came out of nowhere” even to this day, they are speaking, playing, intellectualizing, singing, teaching and revealing with authority and direction.
Sometimes the lure of being the first person to do “this” or first Caribbean-American to do “that” hinders true personal leadership. Why not be a person who wants to get great at a single craft you choose. Stay in your lane and be a person who wants excellence not a spotlight.
Remember the dream that you see for yourself needs the skill that would keep you there!
Are you following fame or excellence? Are you only dreaming or are you studying your craft?