Beauty vs. Safety

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I love this 2-minute video because it gets at the heart of why there is so much risk aversion in organizations. It’s very instructive to watch this rehearsal clip with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the famous Austrian conductor.  But first let me explain what you’re about to see.

There’s an especially awkward and challenging passage for the […]

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Long-term Survival? The Three Box Solution

Friday, May 6, 2016

My colleague, Vijay Govindarajan, has written a new book: The Three Box Solution. It illuminates the complexities of leadership in a time of rapid and disruptive innovation. The activities that lead to success today will likely not be relevant to the exigencies of tomorrow. And yet today’s leader is […]

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Even the Podium Has Its Blindspots

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In every Music Paradigm session I include some demonstration about how different the orchestra sounds when standing on the podium, compared to what the players hear in their chairs. From the podium the entire orchestra snaps into focus, like the pieces of a puzzle being assembled into one vibrant, coherent picture. […]

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Leadership at the Opera

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

There are many times when a conductor’s most effective direction to an orchestra is simply a straightforward instruction: “play softer here,” “take time with the triplet,” “bring out the woodwinds,” etc.

But sometimes the most beautiful results can’t be dictated by the conductor. They require an artistic partnership with the musicians […]

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Behaving Like a Multiplier

Friday, September 4, 2015

I was lucky enough to hear Liz Wiseman speak about how to be a leader who brings out the best in your people. Multipliers she calls them, as distinguished from Diminishers. One of the differentiating behaviors is that, whereas diminishers tend to tell people what to do, multipliers ask questions. […]

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Promoting Employee Engagement

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I recently had an enlightening conversation with author Timothy Clark about his book The Employee Engagement Mindset: The Six Drivers for Tapping into the Hidden Potential of Everyone in Your Company. Tim researched many companies, seeking out employees who were recognized by both their peers and bosses as being extremely […]

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Inspiration, Taking Risks, and Leadership

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

There was a revealing moment in my recent session in Rio de Janeiro, my first time working with a Brazilian orchestra.  At one point I modeled a dysfunctional conductor whose preoccupation with the movements of his baton had eclipsed his connection to the actual sound the musicians were producing.  Of course […]

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The Godfather, Part III

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Have you seen The Godfather Part III, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino? Only an orchestra conductor with inside connections could know of the valuable lessons related to trust, leadership and eliminating layers of bureaucracy to be learned in the making of this classic film about betrayal, murder […]

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What the Ebola Crisis Can Teach Us About Leadership

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What the Ebola Crisis Can Teach Us About Leadership

“You’ve got to pick a fight with some musician,” gruffly declared my conducting teacher. “Otherwise the orchestra won’t take you seriously.” And so, once in every other rehearsal, I’d watch him attack some defenseless player. You could hear a pin drop, the […]

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New York Times article

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Click here to read the full New York Times story from Sept. 17, 2014 by James Oestreich

There’s a Lesson Here; All You Have to Do Is Listen

Roger Nierenberg and the Music Paradigm Program

I couldn’t have been […]

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