Breakfast with Malcolm Gladwell
"Taylor. Wake up." Groan. A few minutes pass...maybe thirty. "Taylor, seriously, wake up! You want to go see Gladwell or not?"
"Yessss," I moan, rolling over to shield my eyes from the light.
"Then get up!" A mere two hours prior we pulled into Nashville after playing a show in Birmingham, with nasty rainstorms trailing us the whole way home. The air was noticeably cooler here, and I imagined the Alabama humidity had lifted after such a massive downpour. We began unloading, my small Hyundai Accent packed meticulously like a jigsaw puzzle.
The guitars felt heavier than normal, and as Chloe harped on me to pick up the pace I snapped, "I wasn't the one who slept the whole drive!" to which she had no retort. But a few hours later I was thankful someone had slept on the ride home. How else would we have been one of the first people waiting in line? ;-)
Today was a day I had been waiting for since Christmas, when I unwrapped tickets to a Leadership Breakfast with Malcolm Gladwell. I strained against an inevitable sleep-deprived headache, having a hard time moseying through my morning rituals as I fantasized about the warm, enticing bed I had just left. Why did I bring this drudgery upon myself?
I was quickly reminded the minute I stepped foot into Belmont University's Curb Event Center. Round tables were assembled neatly in front of the stage, each topped with a fresh bouquet of flowers. Lined against the far wall were tables adorned in assorted pastries, berry parfait cups and coffee. Chloe and I walked briskly down the stairs, secured two seats at the front (score!) and began mingling with fellow Gladwell enthusiasts.
As Belmont's President, Bob Fisher, began his introduction Chloe nudged me excitedly, "He's back there! I just saw him!" You'd think we were two teenage girls at a One Direction concert. I strained my neck to catch a glimpse, but he had already vanished around the corner to make his way to the stage.
"His sneakers!" Chloe exclaimed excitedly as he approached amidst a round of applause. Peeking out behind the podium was a hint of neon orange. "Knucks," Chloe whispered, using her eyes to motion towards her clenched fist under the table. I smiled and we knocked knuckles.
What surprised (and delighted) me the most about Gladwell's speech was that he focused on how we treat people, and the responsibility of those in a position of power. It was a lesson of respect—an urge to be open-minded and consider others' point of view before making a snap judgement.
#GladwellatBU: As Told Through Tweets
As if I wasn't already psyched, after hearing him speak live in the flesh (and having him autograph my Gladwell book collection), I'm ready to dig into David and Goliath to see what new nuggets of wisdom Malcolm Gladwell has in store.
If you were at the Belmont Leadership Breakfast this morning (or have already read David and Goliath), I'd love to hear what you thought!
What I'm listening to: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Ten Thousand Hours (couldn't resist...ha)
Photos taken with an iPhone 4S. Header photo courtesy of Daniel Lewis.