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Think about this — an orchestra conductor ~ or maestro ~ assembles a group of musicians who each play different instruments. Their goal is to create beautiful music. Music that will delight the audience, and ignite their imaginations. It’s what we call a symphony.
In the business world, a truly great leader does the same thing. Bringing all the right people together, guiding them to work in harmonious effort, to reach a common goal. Just like the conductor, who cannot create a beautiful piece of music alone, great leaders recognize where they need support and synchronization. Instead of an orchestra, they create teams that are in harmony. Each complimenting the others skills and expertise.
Interestingly enough, the word symphony also means harmonious.
A Maestro Creates A Beautiful Collaboration
Maestros don’t gather 30 violinists, one or two bass players, a clarinet player and a trombone, and hope for the best. They bring together a wide variety of instruments, and artists, to create a depth of sound. At different times during the concert, they will call upon the violinists and the cellists to play, at other times the trumpeters and so on. Sometimes they will ask the orchestra to play fortissimo, or very loud, and at other times they will ask for dolce, more soft and smooth. And eventually everyone in the orchestra will simultaneously play their instruments creating a layered and robust sound.
Just like a great maestro, a great leader understands that they will need different skill sets, from a variety of experts, to make a team. A range of aptitudes and competencies will be required in order to achieve the business goals. Each person on the team, including the leader, does not possess all the abilities for success. Like an orchestra, certain team members will at times, be more engaged and lively, while others are at a slower pace. There will be occasions when everyone is head down and collaborating, working together beautifully.
Great Leaders Lead – They Don’t Do
Knowing this is the path to a cohesive team that produces results takes emotional intelligence on the part of a leader. A leader, by definition, ‘leads…they don’t ‘do’. Being a leader means having a vision and bringing the right combination of people and skills together. The team members will be the ones who ‘do’. Leaders need to lead.
Leaders who show greatness also realize they don’t have all the answers. They need to be willing to explore and to ask the right questions of their team. Brilliant maestros know their musicians understand their instruments best. And as experts they can make the perfect adjustments Equally brilliant leaders also trust their team members to demonstrate their abilities and knowledge.
How Leaders Inspire Unpredictable Brilliance
Internationally recognized conductor, author of “The Ignorant Maestro: How Great Leaders Inspire Unpredictable Brilliance”, Ivay Talgam, talks about the leadership of the late Austrian conductor, Carlos Kleiber.
“Kleiber manages to build a culture in which everyone has ownership of a certain aspect of interpretation. Through a wonderful, sophisticated virtuoso body language, his idea is to control not people, but process – and then he leaves a lot of space for people to find how they best feed into the process. But he does it in an authoritative way that makes it very clear to the orchestra that it is their job to fill those spaces with their interpretation…..
“The idea that somebody has to know all the answers, and preferably this somebody is in charge of everybody else, is, I think, totally wrong,” he says. “Many times, nobody knows the answer – it’s something to be discovered, and it’s all about setting the right conditions to come up with the knowledge. One great mistake is not allowing for mistakes; another is assuming you can be a source of knowledge or solutions for your people.”
…..Organisations make a lot of effort to make sure the voice of the leader is always heard – if somebody gives a command it will reach everyone, which is very nice,” says Talgam.
Director Co., UK, Itay on Leadership, Chris Maxwell, June 2015
Your Team Can Make Beautiful Music
Symphonies stun their audiences with beautiful music when they are able to engage their artistry and collaborate. We are transported, our emotions evoked, our imaginations ignited. Leader can create those same incredible feelings when they allow their team to demonstrate their own greatness in collaboration with each other. It is the leader ~ the maestro ~ who enables the collaboration, reveals the greatness, and leads the creation of something beautiful.
So in the end, it all starts with you. You are the maestro, setting the tone, building the symphony, keeping everyone in tune. If you’re ready to create a team that is harmonious there are three ways that I can support you:
- My VIP Leadership Coaching program – designed to guide you to the great leader, and maestro that you are meant to be. Together we work 1-on-1 to design a leadership brand and style that’s all your own. Click here to find out more.
- Download my Culture Creation Toolkit – It’s loaded with great tools and tips to help you create a team that plays in perfect harmony.
- Connect with me to learn about my People Strategy SOS program – this deep dive allows me to understand what’s happening with your team, conduct an expert analysis, and provide actionable advice and recommendations to get your symphony playing in tune again.