My grandmother was a big fan of moderation. She had been a nurse during prohibition, and as a consequence was able to get alcohol. She hinted at some wild parties that involved "medical" alcohol and driving around Lake Cadillac in a flivver. This being the baseline for her idea of "moderation", it's no wonder I turned out the way I did.
So, when I tell you that I've been tapped to moderate the Data Summit in NYC this week, you can assume that it will include moonshine, flappers and possibly "feenies" (Phenobarbital), the recreational drug of choice of my grandparents.
Or maybe I'll just introduce all the speakers and let them know when their time is up. It could go either way.
Despite admonitions from my grandma, I've never moderated a conference before. You'd think that after nearly 50 years on this planet, I'd be moderating stuff all over the place. But nope. I guess that's a side effect of being a CEO now. It was bound to happen. I was bound to get caught up in the intrigue of C-level high leadership in the corridors of power in New York City.
There is the slightest chance that this is NOT a turning point in my career, and that wealth and acclaim will not automatically fall from the sky when the world learns just how moderate I can be. I will be steps from Broadway, in the shadow of Carnegie Hall. This opportunity to excel, to make my mark on the City that Never Sleeps has been brought to me as a gift. It is my day to shine - to mold the grandeur of big data case studies into more than just a workaday expression of professional accomplishment. No. This is ART.
But it's not about me, really. It is about the speakers. Those brave men and women who put themselves forth as experts in big data, whose life experience has led them, inexorably to the enviable position of supporting me in my moderation task. It is humbling really. Those of you who know me understand my humility. I daresay, I'm the most humble man on the planet. My humility knows know bounds. Do not feel sorry for the speakers. Their time in the sun will come soon enough. Who knows - perhaps they will be good enough to moderate a track some day? I mean, not the Business Insights Track, of course. But it could happen.
In summary: follow your dreams. You never know where they will lead you.