Maria Latella interviews Claudia Parzani, Head of Valore D, successful manager and mother
Which things do you reckon are necessary to make your life good or at least acceptable?
«My life is good as far as it is going to be the mirror image of my choices. I like to be a leader, I always try to make decisions, to unfurl the sails and I never stop looking for the wind. Every morning, when I wake up, I choose to have a good day. It generally starts with some music, then smiles and hugs. Then, for the rest of the day, even the worst, I never stop looking for beauty in every single thing, a shade of sun, a little piece of happiness».
In what way technology has improved your quality of life?
«Technology has given me flexibility: the possibility to be there for everyone, even when I am away. It has given me speed in searching and finding things. It has given me millions of photos that I can carry along and that allow me to stay close to my loved ones. It has allowed me to take my music along my journeys. I still remember when, after a busy day at work, I had to climb up and down the stairs of the office all night from one fax machine to another, sending hundreds of pages. I have no regret whatsoever! Everything evolves, it is up to us to use modern technology without becoming possessed by it».
If technology goes wrong, is there something that can make your day get worse?
«I guess if I loose something, a document, a photograph, a movie. But then, if I stop and think, I don’t get angry. Perhaps it was time to let it go, to re-write, to re-start. So, I simply start again from a blank page».
Multitasking is an integral part of the professional life of a lawyer with great responsibilities, Head of Valore D, wife and mother of three daughters. Is it an opportunity or a disadvantage?
«I have thought for years it was a distinctive feature of women, a skill developed to suit the need of meshing different lives. But now I have changed my opinion. I love concentrating on something. I want to listen to the person I talk to, if I can, without loosing a word and watching him/her in the eyes. I want to be able to walk, if I can, looking at the details of a building. Devote all my attention to my clients. Hug my daughter fondly. After I turned 40, I learned to enjoy the things I do and I have. Now I am working on the next step: celebrating more, for all the good things that happen, for the small targets met, but also for the defeats avoided».
A story or an episode that pictures how your life has changed in the last three years.
«I have a pen friend. I have never closed my door to anyone. Yet in recent years, it has been very difficult to find time for everyone. I made my efforts and tried hard to always come up with an answer to anyone. One of these people, my pen friend, is a special person. Her name is Maria, like you (do you happen to be special just by your name?), and she wrote to me long time ago at D Value. At that time, I addressed her to somebody else in the Association who could answer her request. However, she gently flew in the garden of my life like a butterfly and kept flying around me at all times. She is always there when I stop, lower my head and try to see beyond me.
We often write to each other at night,
and she always has
a good advice or a photo for me
She doesn’t know my voice but she hears me very well. Now I want to go and visit her and I am sure it will be a special day. This is to say that I learned that if you give, even when it seems impossible to do, something comes back to you, better then what you have done».
Not all working women can rely on a family organization that help them cope with life. Any suggestion or any trick to overcome difficulties?
«Looking for solutions that are close at hand and simple: a neighbour fond of children, a student who lives in the same building. And always ask for help: if you don’t ask, the answer can only be no».
If technology were a magic wand, what would you like? Ubiquity? Tele-transportation?
«The magic of being in two places at once, the possibility to fully enjoy different moments. When I give priority to one thing, I implicitly say no to something else, and there are things I regret I have lost, and I don’t want to loose again».
The world changes rapidly and this can raise expectations but also anxiety, fear of not being able to keep up with it. Which state of mind do you feel at this moment?
«I am not an anxious person and I believe that there are always opportunities for those who are willing to do things wright. I try not to give the same events the same meanings. I believe it is time to become more skilled to read signs, data and interpret them in new ways».
Do you long for something we no longer use or no longer do?
«It is a difficult answer for somebody who was born in the Seventies and was fond of the music of the Sixties. Perhaps the secret is to avoid letting go things and people you have met in your life simply because they are out of fashion or not particularly cool».
Privacy and i-phone. A movie “ Perfect strangers” reveals that sometimes we have a virtual life, made of mails and sms, unknown even to our closed ones. How and how much do you communicate about your private life through email and sms?
«I communicate through every means. I communicate for work but also for personal matters. My phone is always accessible to most people, but it keeps its secrets, a bit like our soul. Perhaps just a feeling, a comment, a hope, something that is not meant for all».
Which is your perfect Sunday?
«Getting up late, having no work to do, devoting time to the people I love, me included. A Sunday when I can take a walk, because walking has always given me the impression of having time».
The last mail or sms of the day: is it usually for work or personal?
«Definitively personal. It is the gate to my night dreams».
(translation by Cecilia Braghin)