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Be a Better Leader in 2019 - 5 leadership lessons from successful musicians

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

January 1st is often the day when we decide to take on new resolutions, start new habits. It's the time of the year when we think more of the future, more than any other time during the year. 

As a business leader it's the time you also evalute your leadership skills, think of how to become a better leader, look for inspiration to improve and develop your leadership qualities. Thinking of this myself, I have turned to look for inspiration to my fellow music colleagues, from past and present, from the classical giants to Elvis. We can all learn some great lessons from these successful, fascinating people. What these quotes point out is that leadership qualities are developed within ourselves, our personal development is key in becoming a good leader.


"Those who have achieved all their aims probably set them too low." Herbert von Karajan 

Are you of the opinion that you have achieved all your goals in 2016? Famous conductor Herbert von Karajan warns us of the danger of settling down for mediocrity. To become a successful leader we must always strive for higher goals, once a goal is achieved look for the next one. Once a job is done, a new product comes out, it is time to look for the next step, next challenge. Do you think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates stopped once they achieved thier first goal?   

"Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity." Daniel Barenboim

Renowned pianist Daniel Barenboim points out the important of thinking of your work as not only of something for the current moment but that it will also be useful in the future too. Whatever our profession, being creative and innovative benefits the present as well as the future. The quality of our work today affects our work of tomorrow. 

"I am not now nor have I ever been a diva... I am only Montserrat!" Montserrat Caballé

Be yourself. What better lesson can we learn from the great opera singer Montserrat Caballé. Yes, you might be the big boss, CEO, COO, but remember who you are, what you stand for, what your values are. Many business leaders are taken away by their position, power, popularity whereby forgetting the basic principles of human interaction and communication.

"The art of conducting consists in knowing when to stop conducting to let the orchestra play." Herbert von Karajan

Another great quote by Karajan. Good leaders encourage and empower their employees to help them develop and overcome their best. Trust your employees, give them projects, assignments, let them 'play' in your team. Empower your team members to be leaders. This is a golden rule in creating a powerful, dynamic and effective team.

“When things go wrong don’t go with them” Elvis

I have always loved Elvis, listened to his wonderful voice since early childhood. Always thinking of Elvis only in music terms, this very interesting quote took me by surprise. There might be more ways to interpret it, I have chosen my own own. Things don't always go the way we planned or wanted. It's important not to go with the flow, be overwhelmed,  but accept the situation, move on and find new solutions. When things go wrong, they went wrong for a reason. Learn, adapt, adjust, be creative, find new ways.

Whether you make small or big changes, adopt one or more of these great lessons, you will think better, work better and be a better leader in 2019!

Happy and prosperous new 2019!


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