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Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Monday, February 17, 2003

The Silent Conductor -- As an old woodwind player (clarinet and sax since from 5th grade right on to the Rutgers Alumni Wind Symphony), I've always gravitated to musical ensemble metaphors for management and organizational effectiveness more than the usual sources like sports or the military. (One of my favorite books in this vein is Max Depree's Leadership Jazz.)

With that in mind, expanding on a recent post on managing techies and a response to Britt Blaser's view of the "slacker masses," this short essay by Benjamin Zander from Optimize Magazine puts forth a role of managerial leadership that resonates with me...
"I try never to forget that the conductor is silent and the music is made by the players. The conductor's job is to awaken possibility in others. My only power is that which comes from making others powerful. It is a sacred task, and success shows up in the shining eyes of the players."
Tempo, vision, guidance, and assurances of harmony and timing are all provided by the conductor. Whether interpreting the clear strategy or a composer's score, or leading a tight ensemble of seasoned improvisors through new music being created on the fly, the occasional nods, cues, and appreciative responses are welcome input to the players.

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