Nando Parrado was slated to talk to the World Business Forum about crisis management. He was the next to the last speaker on the last day of the conference, right before James Cameron. I’d never heard of the guy, and had little interest in crisis management, so I was working hard to finish a blog post before James Cameron’s talk when Mr. Parrdo began his presentation.
As Mr. Parrado described in more detail his ordeal as one of the survivors of the 1972 airplane crash in the Andes that was the subject of the movie Alive, I had to stop what I was doing and listen to this amazing man and his incredible story of survival. Mr. Parrado has written a book about his ordeal called “Miracle in the Andes: 72 days on the mountain and my long trek home,” which I now plan to read.
Much to my great surprise, Mr. Parrado delivered the most important message of conference. I do not have the skills to adequately describe how his message affected me and the rest of the audience, so I won’t even try. I hate to say this, but you just had to be there. Mr. Parrado’s talk was for me and I suspect many others an emotional ambush. At times, you could hear a pin drop in Radio City Music Hall, and toward the end, you could hear people weeping.
Life is measured by the extraordinary moments with the ones you love that take your breath away.
Mr. Parrado’s important message is to never get so caught up in the pursuit of achievement that you neglect the most important way you can ever spend your time – with your family and the ones you love.
I was thrilled to see James Cameron, Al Gore, Jim Collins, Charlene Li, Jack Welch, Steven Levitt, and others speak over the two days of the World Business Forum. But I feel privileged to have been present to hear Nando Parrado share his story and his message.