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Leadership from Any Chair

Juggling between the music and corporate world I wonder how music has it all figured out. Music teams have a very clear structure, musicians possess skills necessary to work together. They do have the advantage of learning communication skills from early age. With this in mind I recently conducted a teambuilding session for a company with 8 members, two of which were managers, the managing director and executive director. The Executive Director hired me to to work with the team with the following desired outcomes: 

1. Consolidate the team

2. Understand individual roles and responsibilities

3. One team member is not having good relations with other team members

The first question I asked myself: How would an octet, music team of eight, look like? Would there be a clear structure or a more flat, jazzy structure? This would depend on the players themselves. I concluded that working the team, exploring together strenths and weaknesses would provide the answer.

The Company Orchestra workshops is divided into two parts: a theory and practical part. While the theory part explains different team strucures and processes, the practical part is an interactive workshop whereby participants take up an instrument and practice together a 'music piece'. The fascinating aspect of this workshop is that participants unawarely open up and demonstrate their strengths, weaknesses, skills and qualities. 

The Company Orchestra
The Company Orchestra

One of the first things I noticed was that I was dealing with eight strong personalities, some of them even stronger than the managers. They had individual, clear ideas how they wanted to do business, but they were confused as to their roles and responsibilities within the team. 

During the whole day training, we gradually worked on building the team. What became clear is that this was team that would work well as a jazzy, flat structure. Depending on the task, leadership roles were moving from one member to the other, takss as important as the other. As one participant proclaimed: 'we are all leaders!'. 

That was it. They understood that Leadership can come from any chair. 

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