Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Transformative Power of Classical Music and Leadership

I have featured several TED videos on the blog, but I think this may be my personal favorite. In this video, Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, is funny and energetic as he discusses classical music and why everyone should love it as much as he does. As you continue watching, his message goes much deeper when he begins to discuss the qualities of a leader.

He discusses how a conductor doesn't make a sound while leading the orchestra, but it took him 20+ years of conducting to realize that the role of a conductor is to provide leadership and that "leadership is the ability to make other people powerful." Leadership is to "awaken the possibility in other people." In other words, as a leader, you must look and determine "how many shining eyes are around you?"

Zander has many quotable moments, but I hope you will take twenty minutes to watch this video and reflect on his message. It also makes me wonder why people give up on so many goals in their life, but maybe the answer lies not with them, but on the "leaders" around them. In other words, "Who am I being that my children's (or employee's) eyes aren't shining?" And what is a successful leader according to Zander? It all depends on how many shining eyes are around you.

You can also watch the video by clicking HERE.

Zander also asks you to choose your words carefully as you should never try to say anything that couldn't stand as the last thing that you would ever say to someone.

Again, I hope you will spend twenty minutes to watch this video and think about how you are a leader in your home, workplace, and/or community. As Zander demonstrates, none of us are tone deaf and all of us are leaders. Now go watch the video...

1 comment:

  1. You know something has touched you when you start recommending it to others. So far, I've mentioned this TED talk to 4 different people. Now whether or not they listen to it is up to them but I've listened and hopefully benefited from Zander's wisdom.
    Thank you for passing it on.
    Zander's comment about leadership reminds me of an experience my husband had as a principal many years ago. Before he had even met one of his teachers, people were warning him that he was really going to have his hands full. This guy was a real problem, no parent wanted their kid in his class, the Board wanted him fired. My husband decided that he had a choice, fire the guy or fire him up! Well, being the great principal he was, he decided that this teacher had some good qualities but not much guidance. So began the journey of leading and supporting, mentoring and encouraging. Long story short, the teacher is still teaching and is now the one parents request. What a loss it would have been to that school, to those students, if this promising teacher had been fired. "Leadership is the ability to make other people powerful."


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