Benjamin Zinder is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. He’s a magical man. He delivered a presentation at the TED conference. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. (www.Ted.com) It’s a conference that brings together people from those three worlds and has them speak about their passion. Zinder’s passion is classical music. His message was about the power of classical music. What’s this have to do with women and business? Everything.
He dramatically shows how a musician has to play to evoke the powerful emotions in the listener. Instead of playing each note, the musician plays “as a bird does soaring over the fences below in a long line.” That made me think about how often in business we focus on the day to day issues, the short lines, without looking farther to the long line which takes us to the end. Recently, I’ve been looking at my life in business and the long line in my life. Maybe you can, too.
All my business life, I’ve focused on my customers and my work. I can remember being on the road for so many days that when I returned home, the walls of my condo looked whiter than when I had left. While there is nothing wrong with hard work, you need more than that. My wonderful dad is 88 years old and in failing health. There are two people in my life who think I’m perfect. One of them is my dad. The other is my husband—and I’m not about to tell either one of them that they’re wrong. What I am going to do is something I would have never done even two years ago. I’m going to look at the long line.
I’m taking a week off of work. One complete week. This means no appointments and no business. I’m clearing my schedule. My dad is coming to visit me. His constant care is exhausting my mom and she desperately needs a break. He’s quite frail and moves very slowly. He needs to come to where his slower pace won’t slow another person down. Slow will be fine for me for that week. I’m thinking of a daily activity that will bring him joy and not wear him out. One day we’ll go to coffee and dessert at a special store I love. Another day we’ll sit outside for a half hour at a park. That will be it for the day. My dad can’t do much more.
I’ve come to realize that while my work is important, there is more to my life than just work. Zinder agrees. He says, “The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. His depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful.” Zinder realizes his power when he sees other people’s eyes shining. When other people’s eyes are not shining, he questions himself and what he’s not doing. Here’s to my dad during our magical week in July when I’m hoping to make his eyes shine.