Ode to the Maestro

As a cellist and owner of an MBA in Leadership, this marquee message, located on the side of the highway between Island Lake and Wauconda, IL, speaks directly to me.

A person who leads the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

The leader of the orchestra – the conductor, the maestro – has a focus on the musicians in front of him. Although the music is made for the crowd, the conductor does quite literally have his back to them, except for the walking in and out part and perhaps a short greeting before the performance.

The musicians face the crowd and each have a role in the whole of the beautiful sounds that envelope the entire space. Orchestral playing – believe it or not – is highly intense and certainly causes me to sweat and catch my breath at times. A musician gives her whole self in public performace; it really seeps out of your soul and transitions to the instrument on which you have practiced and trained for this very moment.

An orchestra may consist of 60 – 70 musicians, and yet the star of any orchestra performance really is the conductor, the leader of the orchestra, who maintains his back to the crowd.

A leader isn’t an individual performer; he may not even know how to play all of the instruments that he conducts. But, it is the act of bringing all of these different instruments together, all operated by different people, all producing vastly differing sounds, to create a whole that makes sense and moreover reaches the human senses on a deeper level than usually expected from such peformances. (Shamelsss plug for the Harper Symphony Orchestra to follow.)

The best of maestros make it appear easy, like most experts do in their trade. They swing the baton around and everyone keeps time. It is such an amazing feeling to be a part of the group, to feel the music all around you, to be in cadence with everyone, the music literally flowing through your entire self. But the main rule is all eyes on the conductor. Abrupt changes in tempo or transitions between movements require a cue from the conductor. Things can quickly fall apart if the individual musicians don’t pay attention to the conductor, and the pressure is on the maestro to keep it all together, communicating to all in the orchestra what is next.

I appreciate the efforts of our local business to share this with our community. Profound thought belongs everywhere. Although I was unable to determine who owns this marquee sign, I hope to discover that and will post a link to their business when I figure it out.

Here we go – shameless plug –

I am a cellist in the Harper Symphony Orchestra in Palatine, IL, and invite you to like our Facebook page and jot down the dates for our upcomimg.2018 – 2019 season.

https://www.facebook.com/HarperSymphonyOrchestra

2018 – 2019 Season Concerts:

October 7, 2018

December 9, 2018

April 7, 2019

May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day)

All concerts are on a Sunday and begin at 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Harper College in Palatine, IL. Hope to see you there!

Shout out to the Maestros who have been a part of my life – from Mark Bettcher back at Golfview Elementary and CMS who guided my transition from violin to cello, to Brian Groner here at Harper Symphony who gave me a chance after a 19-year hiatus ( I know that was a risk!), to my current Maestro and cello instructor, Tony Porter who continues to guide me in my growth and progression as a cellist. Guys – this blog post is for you!

Professional Development: whose responsibility is it?

So many organizations are ripe with employer-driven personal and professional development opportunities that are supported, encouraged and often even funded by the company. I often tell my students to get a job with their Bachelors degree and find an organization to work for that will pay for the Masters. These organizations are the kind to keep on your radar, for sure, and these opportunities should be considered when making job choices.

But what if you work for an organization that really doesn’t do anything for their employees’ personal or professional development? Some of us do work for these types of companies and often end up there – stuck – for long periods of time. Maybe the money is good and you have a family at home, and your life just requires stability right now. So even though the organization is not supportingyour forward momentum in your career, you stay to keep the bills paid and roof over your head.

Understandable.

Respectable.

But there has to be a way to move forward in your career without loss of the current financial situation.

This is where the responsibility comes in. Some of us are lucky to have the responsibly built into our vocations via licensure and CPEs. But those of us who aren’t still have a lot of opportunities to grow, albeit on our own dimes and time.

Here are just a handful of the ways anyone in really any profession can ensure personal and professional development:

  • Join your occupation’s professional development organization. This opens access to special events, dinners, and even job opportunities through membership and the networking possibilities.
  • Attend seminars, conferences, and workshops in your field of expertise. These events are often posted in publications by the professional organizations, magazines, and all over the internet social media.
  • Take a class on a topic that you need to improve. A business owner friend is mine is taking a Quickbooks class at the local community college to get to know the system better.
  • Read books about the latest and greatest of the field. Some may know that yours truly needs a push too sometimes, but it really is an excellent way to keep you informed about developments in your area of expertise.
  • Follow bloggers that keep you thinking and that have the same career interests as you. We have choices who to follow or unfollow. Raise your hand if you ever got caught up in the negative trap of tweets. (All hands in the air.) Yep. Take control. Unfollow. At some point, we all need to clean up shop.

So Professional Development: whose responsibility is it? YOURS!🎉

I love this stuff. It is my passion to find ways to make people’s lives and careers better. Let’s all make sure that we are doing the best for ourselves and take charge of our professional selves❤

I’d love your comments, thoughts, and certainly, follows! I’m suddenly on a mission, so I’ll be posting much more from now on. Introduce yourself and let’s have a dialogue! (That’s for you, Art! 😉)

That itching, nagging thought or idea

We all know we have that one ounce of extra something in us that could truly drive us to our personal limits. That itching, nagging thought or idea that just excites your mind, making your blood pump and your palms sweat, that idea that is going to change the world! (Imagine a guy with his white dress shirt top couple buttons unbuttoned, megaphone in hand exclaiming those last three words. That’s what I picture.)  So, why don’t more people have their success story? Why do so many people tell that itching, nagging thought or idea to just go away?

Could it be that really we’re afraid of becoming successful?  Could it be that although it is just such a great and respectable goal it would require us to change?

A new schedule.  New commute routes to learn. New contacts to create. Starting from the bottom yet again. These are scary and daunting truths about change,  at least in your career.

I bet if I asked for a show of hands in a random audience of who’s self-sabotaged an opportunity or experience because of the fear of change that the number of hands raised would far underrepresent the minds of those chewing on something they’d rather keep to themselves.

What if even one of those people could become inspired enough to take the plunge and answer that itching, nagging idea or thought? Maybe the answer to the plastic grocery bag problem? Or, perhaps the training to become the world’s happiest flight attendant and travel the world? Or even the response to a call for a theological life?

Do you have a story to share?  Was your hand raised or did you keep it to yourself? Did you listen to that itching, nagging thought or idea and have success? Or even a flop? (They say the journey is just as important as the destination.)

We’re BAAAAACK!!!

We’re BAAAAACK!!!.

My cousin Jen is raising a living and breathing miracle! Her son was born very premature,  and his brother went to Jesus after just a few short days with his mom and dad. Jacob has been handed a boatload of mental and physical challenges but Jen and her husband Bryan are working to knock them out of the way. They f I understand a place called IAHP, the Institute for Human Potential,  and this little boy is not only seeing when he was previously considered blind, but he’s even reading upwards of 100 words!

 

Check out Jen’s blog about their journey of miracles. If you can, please consider donating so they can continue the important work to help Jacob live a regular life.