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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Five Leadership Pointers from a Conductor

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five Leadership Pointers from a Conductor

As a young conductor I was always amazed to witness how a great maestro could so quickly have such a transforming effect on an orchestra.  Within minutes the music would come to life with a new vibrancy and spirit.  It was like magic.  I could find no other explanation […]

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Music As Inspiration

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Last week, I delivered a Music Paradigm session to a group of 140 financial services executives.  For 90 minutes they sat inside the orchestra.  Then for a half-hour we all discussed what they had experienced, and how they might put their learning to use.

Many people spoke about the magical quality of hearing live music […]

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Bernstein Inspires Innovation

Thursday, August 1, 2013

In today’s competitive business environment every company is looking to stimulate innovation. But it’s not easy, particularly for large, successful organizations where norms and conventions have taken root.

Even the symphony orchestra, which routinely plays the most thrilling masterpieces ever conceived, is still susceptible to boredom and tedium.  Indeed, without the guiding hand of an […]

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Giving the work back to people

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What does a conductor do when the orchestra is simply not playing up to its capability?

The general public’s stereotype of a maestro’s behavior in this situation is based on Arturo Toscanini, whose temper tantrums on the podium during the 1950s were legendary.  Listen, if you dare, to his rant, which climaxes in his storming […]

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Sharing a Compelling Vision

Friday, April 5, 2013

It’s rare that you get to see a spontaneous, black-and-white contrast between the effects of two different approaches to leadership. But it happened to me many years ago, and forever changed my ideas about the power of communicating vision to a workforce.

I had engaged a very good tenor to sing a beautiful Bach Cantata. […]

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Ready to Rumble?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A leader can sometimes be blind to what is obvious to everyone else.  I learned this more than 25 years ago when I guest-conducted one of the most famous American orchestras in the Rumble scene from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.

The Rumble is a violent piece, bursting with explosive, jagged syncopations. It’s tricky to […]

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The oboist's perspective

Saturday, March 23, 2013

At some point in every Music Paradigm session I ask one participant to come to the podium, stand in front of the orchestra and hold the baton in her hand. I then move her arm in such a way that the musicians can read the baton’s movements. For the participant it is an astonishing sensation: […]

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Leadership Without Authority

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How do you exercise leadership when you don’t have any authority over the people you’re supposed to lead? This is one of the most frequent challenges I hear about as I prepare to design Music Paradigm sessions. Every time I’m reminded of a story that Mark Kiefaber, the brilliant Lead Partner at Focus Leadership, LLC, […]

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