Byron's Babbles

Leading Like A Orchestra Conductor

Posted in #NEI3DLeadership, Conductor, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on November 7, 2021

A few weeks ago I got a very nice complement (in the form of a tweet) from Lauren Berry, a participant in one of my leadership development sessions that said, “Fireside chats and pumpkins galore! This crew had a blast reflecting on our time with the #NEI3DLeadership program! The biggest shoutout to @ByronErnest as our fearless leader. We have learned so much from you!” This tweet meant a great deal to me and I responded, “Words can’t express my appreciation for your tweets. Thank you! I am merely the conductor guiding the performance, not making it happen, not bringing it into being – YOU & the others in your cohort are making the beautiful music that makes these gatherings so special.” Then I got to thinking, as I always do, shouldn’t we be striving to be conductors instead of leaders?

I heard it said once of orchestra conductors that the music flows from the pages through them, they are avatars of a bigger purpose, conduits of a bigger collective goal. The idea of being conduit is also huge for me. Think about that metaphor: a conduit is something that channels or conveys something. Think about water or electricity being moved to everyone who needs it. That’s what I strive to do. Help everyone be better conductors of their orchestras (aka organizations). I hope your catching all of this play on words. But, it’s really not just words; we are on to something here.

Back to our conductor. They don’t tell the musicians how or what to play, they set the pace, cue them in, and guide. They do not bring the the beautiful music into being or make it happen. They are merely the conduit. The conductor has a premium vantage point to help bring about optimum collaboration of the entire orchestra.

Great conductors let the performers thrive in a framework that evolves as the composition progresses. The conductor is only a part of a magnificent performance. They have helped bring out the talent of every musician and cued in every resource with perfect timing. Then after taking a quick bow to the applauding audience, diverts all credit to the musicians in the orchestra (watch a conductor sometime). Are you leading like a conductor?

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