Lead like a Great Conductor

Itay Talgam, an orchestra conductor and business consultant from Israel gives a very humorous and interesting lecture while profiling 6 famous symphony conductors. Conducting an orchestra, leading a band, running a business all require a leadership role and there are many different ways one can approach the challenge. Talgam knows his stuff and this is a very entertaining video even if one doesn’t like classical music.

While the focus on this talk centers on how different leadership styles can influence and effect the nature of one’s business and success, there are some ideas that any musician can take from it too. One can be a player (or band leader) who is very happy or serious and firm. One can let the music happen or perhaps be very controlling so that the prepared or pre-arranged ideas are played without any spontaneity or participation of other people or things in the “story” of the music. Or perhaps you can combine elements and lead (or play) in a manner that is spontaneous and involves others while maintaining the order and control needed to put across even a very complex performance. There is something mighty attractive and exhilarating about the concept of “doing without doing”. Great players and leaders are capable of getting out of the way of The Music without relinquishing the command needed to avoid a descent into chaos. Talgam shows how this is possible through the approach of two highly-respected conductors, Leonard Bernstein and Carlos Kleiber.

There are plenty of illuminating talks on TED although many of them are not music-related. Even though this is a guitar blog, it’s very important to realize that as players, we are all influenced by many things in the world around us. Guitar-playing does not exist in a vacuum and all of the best players have stated at one time or another how a great song, a great idea for a lick or even a new piece of technology or way of doing things was caused by something that was completed unrelated to the guitar and probably happened when they didn’t have a guitar in their hands.

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