Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Surfing a wave

Picture this.

It's Monday and I'm in Whistler, British Columbia. God's country.

Days like this come along, but only so often. To be truthful, a day like this has never happened before. I am surfing a magnificent towering wave.

Bright and early, at five minutes to eight, I stand at a lectern on a lit stage, a live gooseneck mic ready for my wisdom, or lack thereof. As Chairman, for better or for worse, I am the focus of everyone's attention. The room is full. The annual general and special meeting is moments away from casting off.

This year marks another year of heady success for Governance Professionals of Canada, the national association I chair. It was also a year with challenges. There are always challenges. Members of the society look to me to set the tone, to guide the Board of Directors in its work, to keep us on course, and to stand firmly at the helm when the strongest winds are blowing. I need to keep an expert hand on the wheel as the ship heels well over under full sail, plowing a swift and steady course into the future.

There are persistent signs of a squall on the horizon. I am well prepared, confident. In the end, the course I plot skirts the storm, and we blow past, bright sunny skies off the bow, and another year of clear sailing in the offing.

I stepped off the stage and out of the ballroom and breathed deeply, pleased that the meeting had kept to its tight schedule, and concluded without a single hitch.

I checked my e-mail, hoping for news of another sponsorship for my ride in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. No new sponsorships yet, but something just as thrilling and satisfying sat waiting for me.

Terry McElligott wrote to me saying that he was planning to feature, on his mid-morning show on Toronto's Jazz FM, a little story I had shared with him a few weeks earlier. Jazz FM91 has been my favorite radio station for many years now. It is listener-supported radio and I am a proud donor. Terry's show in particular never fails to please me. He has a knack for selecting tracks that resonate with my vibe, like the perfect soundtrack for my mood.

Terry related my little anecdote on air. I felt that I was listening to a close friend relating a nugget of shared experience. Ahhhhh... just what I needed. Listening to some nice smooth sophisticated jazz, and then that very personal little story. Just like the figure of a tree traced on your cappucino by a skilled barista.


The wonder of it is that I wasn't done yet.

Our conference became the venue for the Toronto Stock Exchange market closing bell. Actually, it's a siren, not a bell. Our little market closing performance was broadcast on television on the Business News Network BNN.

If you look really, really closely, you'll see me in the back row, in the center. The guys are routinely relegated to the back row, because of our height, having nothing to do with our stature. I'm used to it, I am. It's the way of the world.

The ebb and flow of my extraordinary day had me surfing a national wave. First tangibly, on a high energy, high stakes, national stage; then drifting over to that gem of a piece on a radio station that, thanks to the wonders of streaming, has a dedicated national and even international audience; and finally being featured with my colleagues on national TV with the fate of the Canadian capital markets in our hands. Well, maybe not the fate, more like a dozen heartbeats at the end of a market day.


RichardM said...

It sounds like a good reason to be in Whistler. I keep hearing that it's a great place to visit and really pretty but still haven't made it there. It was on the "itinerary"for last summer but didn't make it. Congrats on getting to do the stock market closing!

David Masse said...

Richard the scenery is much more compelling in Banff. That said is a sportsman's dream and a mecca for mountain bikers and BMX addicts in the summer season. It's a very nice place for a conference too.

Trobairitz said...

Beautiful setting for conference, nice relaxing mountains and listening to the jazz music........

SonjaM said...

I prefer Banff over Whistler, anyhow, they are both nice venues for a conference.

Are you famous now? All over the stage, the radio, the TV... what's next, David?

David Masse said...

To be perfectly honest Brandy, by the time we wrapped up on Wednesday I was fairly drained. The 'buck' stops with the President and I, and being at the centre of the proceedings from Friday evening till Wednesday is more than enough.

David Masse said...

Well Sonja, certainly not famous, but my blog has gotten me on national radio and TV, if only briefly. I am going to take a crack at writing a novel. There is some kind of a chance that I could strike gold with that (he says, crossing his fingers).

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