Monday, June 11, 2012

Look, Breath, and Play Together

"Fire leaders build cohesive teams--not simply groups of individuals putting fort individual efforts--to accomplish missions in high-risk environments." (Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 52)
I have seen many analogies regarding the leadership lessons of the orchestra conductor, but the following Tedx (independently organized event) presentation by Eugene Lee does a great job.
Highlights from the Video:
  • Although conductors can direct every note, control tempo and volume, their real jobs are to create an interpretation of the music—a story, something that will create an emotional impact on the audience—and then lead the orchestra on a journey for executing that vision.
  • Once the conductor has the vision, he/she has to communicate it to their team. Stories and images and analogies help the team grasp that vision even more.
  • Conductors have the power to tell every player exactly how he wants them to play every note, but communicating the vision is so much more powerful. 
  • Conductors work with the leader in the orchestra, the concert master; he's enlisting the leader to sell the vision to the team.
  • During the performance, the conduct is providing real-time feedback to the orchestra on how well their sound matches the ideal in his head. He's encouraging, reminding, coaxing, and sometimes, gently correcting. 
  • Conductors lead in advance or in anticipation.
  • Conductors use cues to create connectedness and team cohesion.
What You Can Do:
  • Create a vision.
  • Sell your vision; don’t just tell your team.
  • Give performance feedback as it is happening.
  • Invoke the power of the cue.
  • Coach to the concept not the technique.
  • Help your team breath (flow) together.
  • Thank and acknowledge your team before you take a bow.



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