Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Nod to Behind-the-Scenes Workers

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to score incredible seats to Disney’s live stage musical, The Lion King. It was a fantastic production and I highly recommend seeing it if you get the chance! I marveled at the vocals, the set, the mechanical stage tricks, the lighting, and especially the animals.  Life-sized elephants and giraffes, flying birds, laughing hyenas, running antelope, and even a rhinoceros (!) on stage, in the aisles, in the balconies – it was mind-blowing!  

After the performance, I posted some pictures on Facebook, and learned through a comment that a friend had actually been working behind the scenes, handling male costume changes all night! I think the biggest compliment I can give this friend is that I actually forgot he was there.  Everything looked so flawless that it was easy to get caught up in the magic and forget that there were real people walking around on the giraffes’ four stilt legs, making the hyenas’ necks crane around as they laughed, and thrusting Scar’s lion head forward whenever he got angry.

It seems that sometimes the mark of the most talented and hard-working, behind-the-scenes people around us is their virtual invisibility. Whether I am wearing my lawyer hat or my entrepreneurial cap, I am well aware that I usually do it best when people working behind the scenes have given me their time and support.

It might be my legal assistant alerting me to a meeting request or formatting a particularly beautiful purchase agreement. It could be my sales manager setting up an enticing new merchandise display or my product manager expediting a special order in time for a customer’s first horse show. The commonality is that these actions all make our businesses – and consequently us – look good, and promote our clients’ confidence in us. Often, the client has no idea who was responsible for the skilled leg work, but the business certainly benefits from their praise!

And sometimes, as a lawyer, I am the behind-the-scenes person for a business owner who needs just the right contract, or the perfect words for a letter of intent. And if things move along smoothly and the other party never realizes I am there, then I can feel proud.   

I want to take the opportunity now to recognize and thank all those behind-the-scenes people who have done their jobs so well that we may have forgotten they were there! These are the people we want and need supporting us, and they should know how much we appreciate them. After all, entrepreneurs may not need help getting into giraffe costumes very often, but we certainly rely on the help of others to get all of our elephant-sized tasks done!

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