Maestro Lessons (Leading through Listening)


Here are some of the highlights of my readings in this book. I have been reading books so I can have some ideas on how to be successful in all aspects of life especially in business. This is leading through listening. I hope this will help.

  • Breaking a problem into its most basic elements would eventually lead to its solution.
  • It does not work too well to order musicians to be responsive or cooperative. A great experience would happen only when the motivation sprang as much from them as from me. Acknowledge that they own the music as much as I do. If a leader wants his people to truly own the work, then he has to be willing to let go of some control. Everything I do is aimed at creating a feeling of community and shared responsibility. A leader needs to give corrections and directions. If they see that I am listening to them with great interest and curiosity they will feel encouraged to offer more. A powerful and compelling vision helps people connect their part to the whole. The key to energizing an orchestra’s response is inspiring the same vision in all the players.
  • The proper leverage point can bring about large-scale change without a huge amount of effort. When you study the score, you look for the interrelationship of the parts and the whole, to find the key that effortlessly opens the door. Every word that I speak, every inflection in my voice, every gesture is directed toward the goal of creating a feeling of community.
  • Flow is the bridge that links the present moment to the next. It’s the conduit that transfers energy all around the stage and out to the audience. It’s our primary means of creating a sense of community in the orchestra. Establishing the flow alone can accomplish more than you can by correcting twenty-five details individually.
  • Each musician has an entirely different reality, a different set of facts on which to make his decisions about how to play. The conductor is on the podium because he has been given the authority to lead. His job is to create success. It really falls upon him to stretch his reality until it encompasses that of the players, too.
  • As a conductor, one’s first task is not to stomp one’s own personality on everything, at whatever cost, but to listen. You must take some of your attention away from what you yourself are doing, and focus it on the people you’re here to lead.
  • It’s important to make a distinction between problems that the musicians can best solve themselves, and problems that involve collaboration and teamwork. The direction must be more visionary and strategic and less about helping them manage the details. You must have many different styles and approaches available, and always be looking to expand your range.
  • The power is in them. We don’t create that power, we only direct it. As leaders, we should strive to exert the minimum necessary intervention.
  • Lead, don’t cheer lead. A leader must commit to that which has not yet happened. Otherwise you are really leading; you are actually following. Pre-hear the music they are about to play. The baton is not in the same time zone as the orchestra’s playing. It is only in anticipating, and committing to what will happen next, that any leadership can take place. What energizes people is the leader’s act of committing to what’s possible.
  • The surprising power of listening inspires lively and productive discussion. Central to both business and music is the human capacity for communicating, working together, and self-actualization.
  • When you have a group that’s well disciplined in teamwork, it liberates you to do your best. And then you feel like you’re contributing to something that’s very worthwhile. Sounding in tune is about everyone valuing the collective sound as the highest priority. Part of being an excellent player is your ability, desire and interest in adjusting. Leadership doesn’t make a small difference. It makes all the difference in the world. If you’re a leader, if you stand on a podium, if you hold in your hand a baton, then it falls on your shoulders to make remarkable happen. You can elevate your team to heights beyond their wildest imagination.
  • Conviction – a mass of people manifesting the strongest bond holding them together, their common belief. The maestro is the one who lays the foundation for learning, who teaches the principles and values: the curiosity about the world, the confidence that education eventually leads to freedom, the courage to strive for something higher than just satisfying your appetite, the ideals that last throughout your life.
  • Turn a possibility into a reality. Great music could add an enormous value to a business meeting.

I hope you learned something from these lessons.

To your success,

Jake De La Cruz

P.S. Kindly share this or re-blog or re-tweet if you appreciate it and spread the idea!

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