LOVE as a Differentiator
Transformative experiences are for those who are on a quest right? Climbing Everest or sitting in a Buddhist monastery or, I don’t know, bungee jumping?
There I was, squeezed into the front seat of my colleague’s (well my Dad’s for those of you who know I am in a family business) VW Golf (for those of you who know will remember the Perry’s are, on average, six feet tall) on a hot afternoon to travel thirty miles into Boston. I’m not sure that I had eaten any lunch, I’m quite sure my preferred caffeine level was well depleted, I was most focused on fitting in a conference call with this guy I couldn’t otherwise get a hold of, and my knees and my bag were both up to my chin as I hadn’t had any time to better adjust upon first entering what we fondly refer to it as the “roller skate”. Two Perry’s, eighty miles per hour, straight shot to Boston for…what was it again?
A marketing/networking event. A closed, invitation only rehearsal of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Albeit rather unique, it had only registered as just another chance to score a seat by the next best prospect with my pocket well padded by business cards.
And I’ll stop here, because that is the last I remember of this being just another networking event.
I saw these three guys play:
Time for Three they call themselves. Friends. Musicians. Probably born when I was graduating high school for pity’s sake. In ripped blue jeans (because they’re cool) with leather wrist bands and Josh Beckett necklaces. Mirror sunglasses on their heads. And magical stringed instruments in their fingers. They jumped and bounced and danced. They smiled at each other like they had control of the world. They watched each other with awed respect and anticipation of the note that invited each in to play. They commanded an entire professional orchestra that flooded the stage behind them. They told Keith Lockhart what to do! and their composer, who sat down near us bounced and bobbled and gestured almost in lock step.
Can you imagine? They have an absolute love affair with what they do and who they do it with. They have played these pieces a hundred times, but it was as if (and this was just a rehearsal!) it was only the first. No doubt they have musical skill beyond your average garage band, but I would venture a bet that part of their success comes from the possibility of waking up everyday to work on and with music and people they LOVE. And why not? Why not LOVE what we do and who we do it with? Because when you’re around LOVE, when you see it and feel it, when it is shared with you and it delights you to your toes, it is contagious. And that is a differentiator. This same trio could have played the same music—maybe even loved it as much and executed it as perfectly—without SHARING that love and I would have only remembered being annoyed by the white haired intellectuals in the audience who weren’t very interested in giving me a new project anyway.
A terrific reminder to go eighty miles an hour in life, not depleted, but with glee and delight and LOVE.