What Does Music Tell Us About Leadership?

September 7, 2017 James Bowen

Hero Images Getty Images (5).jpgConsider an orchestra; we have the different music sections and the conductor leading. Traditionally we think of the conductor as being the leader. When we listen to a symphony, we hear the harmonized music, each section of the orchestra contributing to the whole, each section blending to produce the sound. The conductor facilitates the blending of the music. If we look at the musicians, each is highly skilled with his/her instrument.

Refer to my early article where I said that leadership is creating an environment where other people can be successful (See here). It’s not a job title.

If we define leaders as those that create the environment such that others can be successful, then a leader is the composer. By understanding what each musical piece can do, the composer has figured out how to blend their capabilities to accomplish a vision.

The implication for the organizational world is that leadership can be defined as the person who helps:

  1. Create that musical score (organizational environment) where success is possible.

  2. Each participant understand his/her role in the music (organizational vision).

  3. Each participant derive enjoyment from practicing his/her profession within a larger harmony.

Want to be a leader? Be a composer.

Interested in leadership and ethics see my simulations here.

Image Credit: Hero Images/Getty Images


About the Author

CEO, Experiential Simulations //

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