maestroLeadership comes in many forms. The ancient shepherd kept peace with his flock using the help of a few dogs and a staff. Cowboys handle a cattle drive with horses, and in a similar manner. And conductors? With the help of a concertmaster, all players end up on the same page, playing the music in unison. Shepherds, cowboys and conductors—all of them do the job in their own way, but few are truly maestros.

In business, are you a maestro?  The definition of “maestro” is “a great or distinguished figure in any sphere.” You have choices about how to bring your team into unison. You can manage through intimidation, fear, example, policy, or politics. A maestro, however, leads in the best sense of the word.  The role of a maestro is stepping into leadership that brings out the highest and best for the whole and the individuals.

In herding a flock, all sheep respond best to the gentle guidance of a leader. Brute force or lack of direction will send the flock into chaos. In a cattle drive, cowboys have an amazing ability to keep peace within the herd of cattle, but can also coax them across a river or break them into a stampede if they need to escape a storm. Cowboys can also halt the stampede and bring order and a business-as-usual atmosphere quickly and efficiently when needed. As for the conductor? Getting more than one-hundred highly talented musicians to play a multitude of scores from adagio to vivache, piano to fortissimo, and tear-jerking to triumphant requires leadership for a conductor to be called “maestro.”

How do you manage your team? Are you a manager? Leader? Or maestro? Whether yours is a small company, a non-profit organization, or a Fortune 100 company, keep in mind that although you may be overseeing the results from this body of individuals, you may not be their maestro.  You can claim title and authority as leader, but you can’t truly claim power. Power is earned. Power only happens when the team you manage has bought into your vision and is working symbiotically and synergistically on the same goals. In essence, only when people connect to a greater vision through you will they be willing to be led and call you their leader.

More to follow on how to aspire to leadership, and to achieve the epitome: maestro.



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