Leadership Through Music
|What can music tell us about our world today? What insights does it offer for understanding the changes taking place around us?|
|Can music help us to know where we are headed?|
|How can music teach greater self-understanding and build our confidence in ourselves?|
The Self as Instrument
Before stepping forward, a leader must first consider for himself where he stands and what are the goals he wishes to reach. Becoming truly effective at this is an inward journey of self-discovery. Musicians and composers have this journey as their prime responsibility, their prime wish and prime gift.
A musician must also be able to hear himself in order to move his performance to greatness. It is not sufficient to play the notes the right way and to get the timing right. He must envision what he wants to sound like and then really listen to himself step outside his performance and look back at what he sees and hears. Great performers realize the importance of being able to visualize themselves as they perform.
If one envisions the performance to be mournful and sad it will be. If one envisions it to be energized and optimistic it will be. Musicians and other performers have the advantage of being reminded daily that they must perform for others in order to communicate. Most people in business have forgotten that this applies to them as well.
|How do you want to be seen and heard?|
|What is your dream for how your performance should be and how you would perform at your best in it?|
Consider the artist Vincent Van Gogh. Why is it that he painted so many self portraits? Compared to Gaugin or the other artists of that time who painted landscapes or people, Van Gogh was consumed with his room, his vase, his house, and his face. Why?
Perhaps it was because Van Gogh was so deeply connected to himself. So much so that many people believed he was insane. He was consumed by his moods, his love for Gaugin, his relationships, the night and being alone. He knew the inside of himself all too well. The self-portrait was his way of stepping outside what he lived with every day and looking back in. Could he portray this face of a man the way he wished the world would see him? Was he searching for the person that the rest of the world saw while deep inside he saw a different view of himself?
Artists connect with the side of themselves that most of us do not have time to know. They live balanced between inhibition and conformity and between the secrets and emotions we dare not consider in ourselves and the energized optimism of discovering how glorious life can be. The great artist draws on this to create. He walks the line between the world of controlled progress and the other side being a state of insanity of unchecked emotion.
Leadership is as much about a journey inside ourselves as it is about a journey out to the world to understand how it is changing. How do leaders in the global marketplace today make time for this journey inside themselves. If we are to fashion a better world, a better firm and a meaningful role for business in the future can we do this without understanding first where we stand as individuals and what we envision ourselves to be as leaders of this progress?
The other theme of Leadership Through Music is a more visible one than the theme of the Self. It is the skill of getting other people motivated, getting them to where they need to go by providing a process where the leader clearly shows them the way while also letting them find it on their own. The realities of this are influenced by the individuals you are leading, what sort of people they are, what goals or ideas they have and how they feel about you as the leader.
The skillful and effective leader learns how to transmit what is inside himself outward to others while perceiving intensely and clearly what is around him and incorporating that back into action.
Effective communication is the key to success in this process. Communication is made up of many qualities: speaking, observing, sensing, understanding and most importantly listening.