This is an expansion on the post about “When your wife’s a diva…” and was also a comment by a long time client who invited Melissa to speak at a conference of architects and engineers. It was a big conference, maybe 1000 attendees, and in a fancy, old, New Orleans landmark hotel. Our client saw us checking in and said this. I just said, “that’s right.” The reality, though, in business (and in rock and roll), is that there is often a “headliner” and someone has to ensure that the headliner has a chance to shine without worrying about all of the details. Sometimes this involves hauling the stuff – the suitcases, though bell staff are great at that. More often in these conference settings it involves ensuring that, when it is her turn to speak, everything is ready to go. The choreography of conferences is intense in order to keep things on schedule and we have never wanted to be responsible for the “show” not going on as planned. In fact, sometimes I have had to help other speakers out to make their programs work because they didn’t have someone carrying their suitcases. The point is, function as a team, support each other, and do what you can in each situation.
I have carried my suitcases and my briefcase for a very, very long time, all across the United States, as well as many parts of the world. I don’t need anyone to help me, but I very much appreciate the help when it is offered. One of my biggest helpers, other than David, was a former employee who literally ran to the front door of my house on days we left for road or airplane trips to conduct jury research, so that he could carry all of my luggage, including my briefcase, for me. This strong young man said he didn’t think someone like me should have to do the heavy lifting and, as long as he was there, I would never need to touch my bags. His reasoning was that, as the owner of the company, and as his boss, and as the person upon whose reputation all of my company’s clients retain our services, surely I had more important things to do than tote heavy baggage from town to town. (I miss this employee!) There are a lot of women who resent being helped by other people, particularly men, but it is fine with me to receive help doing certain things that allows me to focus on higher level things that only I can do for myself and my clients. Thanks, David, for carrying my suitcases while I am rehearsing my speech!