In someone else’s name

Mr. Dallara watching the 24h of Le Mans

For the past few weeks, I have been involved in many interesting activities that, in one way or another, are related to my current job at Dallara.

As compared to the past, I’ve been trusted with the responsibility of representing the company in many occasions, from holding lectures to mentoring startups, from introducing Dallara to students to serving as a judge in different competitions.

This got me thinking. This name, Dallara, carries a lot of weight in the field that I have followed and has captivated my attention since I was a kid: motor sports. It’s a strange feeling to be the only person in a room and to speak on behalf of a company created by a legend of a man like Mr. Giampaolo Dallara.

An interview with Mr. Dallara – English subtitles available

Sometimes I’ve felt like I can’t possibly be up to the task, especially when you consider that I’ve been in Dallara for less than two years, at the time of writing.

On the other hand, the time I spent at the company has been very intense, both on a professional level and on a personal level. A time of self-reflection, growth, appreciation, and gratitude. I’ve learnt a lot about the company, I’ve met pretty much everyone at every level, and feel like there’s still a lot more to understand before being completely capable of doing my job properly.

So far I haven’t had the pleasure of working directly with Mr. Dallara, even though he is still very much involved in many aspects of the company. We’ve had many interactions, however, and I treasure every one of them.

From recording an interview to following and commenting on an endurance race (he doesn’t seem to be interested in the video stream as much as the actual time table), whenever I talk to him I seem to have a big smile on my face.

In my head it’s inevitable for me to think about the insane amount of drive and initiative that got him where he is, and compare that with what I had when the poor excuse of a team/company I wanted to launch a couple of years ago inevitably failed.

This is why in the past few weeks I’ve felt pride in having the chance and responsibility to represent the name “Dallara” to different audiences and in different roles. Is it weird? Am I being sucked into a “corporate trap”? If that’s the case, then why doesn’t it feel like a trap?

This feeling is as strange to me as it is fulfilling. I’ve wanted this for so long. In my previous jobs I’ve always felt like something was missing. That, deep down, it was difficult for me to really care about many aspects of what I was doing. I’ve learnt to just pretend that those feelings don’t matter and to “be a professional”; that it would be impossible to find a job where you actually care about what you do. But this doesn’t seem to be the case any more.

Will it last? Who knows. We can’t predict the future. We can only look back and analyse whether or not our past choices still make sense.

So far, they do. They absolutely do.

Cover picture courtesy of my friend Giacomo