I love the curtain call of play (any production); it sends a chill down my spine every time. I have to catch my breath, and at times even tears well up. I can feel the energy, exhilaration, and pride from the cast. Their faces penetrate the atmosphere of the theatre. When someone is doing something out of love and enthusiasm, they exude self-confidence. Multiply that times the number of people in the cast (and crew) and you have critical mass…or a whole lot of energy exploding from that stage. It is so cool when they acknowledge the orchestra and the crew that you can’t see. These off stage members create the invisible, the music, the ambience, and the feelings that your brain absorbs with neural networks galore. The beauty of the show, and the curtain call, is the metacommunication transporting you in time and space. Meta – some old Greek word that means “along with” and when added to another word it analyzes or explains that word at a higher level, in a more abstract form. That synergy, hard work, choreography, and mutual support add a positive charge to the whole environment. It took a team. It took an ensemble. It took the soloist (or 2) to bring the story alive. Within the whole are parts/people who are passionate about their role – those on and off the stage.
Over the weekend, I was at an SGI-USA Buddhist event. We were celebrating anniversaries of the largest lay Buddhist organization in the world. It was commemorating 40 years for the international organization, 55 years of President Ikeda’s leadership, and 85 years of the overall organization (Soka Gakkai). They named the street in front of the Chicago center Daisaku Ikeda Way. While standing in the snow listening and participating in this historic event, I was overwhelmed with emotion and moved to tears. I could feel the excitement of the street naming and the day from the stage and the crowd. It was hot…even at 33-degrees F.
So what is my correlation? Why do I have empathy? I was a Camp Director for many years, at a few different camps, and these same feelings hit me at the end of a campfire, a session week, and the whole summer. My satisfaction was pride in my staff and their accomplishments. Our curtain call was a vicarious thrill; at camp I was part of the action. Our camaraderie made the feelings even more intense. Like the stage cast/crew, my group bonded, took responsibility and performed a job that not just anyone can handle. These were special people. The typical staff member is a high school or college student looking for a ‘fun’ job for the summer. The groups I have worked with over the years have included men and women from 18 to 70 with varied camp experience from which to draw. A Camp Director has a vital role in child (and adult) development while supervising the overall facility. This was a dynamic position for me because I trained, supported, and counseled staffers through significant life/growth periods.
These, all of these, are examples of leadership and ability. Leadership is from among, within, the front, and the back. It takes a lot of people to make things happen. Those holding the space, and providing behind the scenes support, have as much ability as the speaker, soloist, and the lead on the project. Think of the Oscars and all of the people they name that we don’t know/recognize. Sit in a dark movie theatre at the end while the list of people scroll by on the screen. Wow. Have you ever known someone on a movie? I am guessing you sat there waiting for his or her name? When it rolled by….how did it feel? There was some essence of 15-minutes of fame in moving along in front of you. The leadership and ability for each of us comes in many forms and delivery styles.
On an exhibit wall in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art there was a quote by Keith Haring: “Every time I create something, I think of the people who will look at it. And every time I look at something I think of its creator.”
This is how I live my life. I love to think and learn about stuff. I want positively contribute to relationships I enter, with a desire for mutual benefit. When I write one of these blogs, I send it to a few friends as my “pilot blog.” They respond with comments, suggestions, and edits. It’s validating and encouraging. As life’s student, I look at something and wonder how the author, inventor, or creator put their thoughts together to achieve such unique beauty in it’s own right.
What is your passion? How do your leadership and your ability contribute to your organization and spheres of influence? We all have them. We don’t notice them because; it’s just a natural for each of us.
Meta is mega