I’ve always wanted to be a leader. I think most people would agree. That word has an appealing zing to it. Nina Gannes: Leader of…it almost doesn’t matter what comes next. Almost no noun is as equally coveted in the English language.
Which is why, at some point over the course of your life, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the question: “How do I become a better leader?” Are you nodding your head, yes? Good. Once you’ve realized that you really don’t know where to start, the follow-up question is “Who the heck can tell me what I need to know?”
In comes INK2011 Speaker Itay Talgam. Talgam uses the orchestra—yes, the classical music kind of orchestra—as a metaphor for business organizational leadership. Let me explain a little.
The only way an orchestra will sound good is if every member is attuned to a clear plan (i.e., the musical score) and the conductor’s vision to interpret that plan. It’s the conductor’s responsibility to connect the musician’s disparate musical statements to create a relevant flow of musical expression. And because each time the orchestra plays a piece the notes are uniquely expressed, the conductor must be always open to changing his perspectives and preconceptions about the directional flow the music might take. In essence, Talgam sees the job of the conductor as creating one storyline of an overarching interpretation of the music from the endless number of small choices the musicians are making each second about Mozart. Sounds a lot like shaping the complexities of business, don’t you think?
Talgam agrees with you exactly. And so by watching videos of expert conductors who are geniuses at crafting musical storylines, we can take tips on how to manage our businesses better. Every conductor has established a leadership style that clearly defines the boundaries of the expected relationship between conductor and orchestra. They could be leading from within—or leading from without. The conductor establishes rules and expectations about the type of control he will assume, and within those guidelines he creates space for the musicians to listen and react to one another. The genius of the best conductors is that they don’t assume total control. By knowing when to step in—and when to step back—they create opportunities for the musicians to lead and interact with one another to create music that is more than the sum of its parts.
In essence, this is exactly the point of great leadership—to enable ideas to blossom. So to become a leader yourself, establish a culture of interactive dialogue, enable exponential collaboration to occur daily, make a coherent storyline of it all, and then get yourself season tickets to the New York Philharmonic.
By Nina Gannes, INK Staff
March 6, 2012
To watch Itay Talgam’s INKtalk, click here, or see below.