Leadership is often paralleled to conducting an orchestra where at the highs of performance the maestro enters a state of flow becoming one with his tune, his orchestra players, and the audience. Known and unknown ingredients are at play and the way these are synthesized to produce that harmony seems to go beyond our understanding. For that reason, we call a great performance by a different name, we call it art!
In the business analogy, a great leader makes himself part of the system, is sensitive to the effects of his practice–his presence and vibes touch everyone in the room—understands his role as composer and constantly seeks to create a whole that is greater than its parts.
The leader enters a state of flow and not with a baton but with strategy themes, he channels the attention of his people and establishes a rhythm that aims to mobilize their forces towards the goal.
And like the high-performing orchestra conductor, great leadership is not a matter of deciding the order of performing—which first or which next to play–but rather of composition–when and how much of each in the pursuit of achieving the whole.
For great leadership, you need to go beyond operational mastery. You need to show that you can tune to your environment, that you can practice empathy towards your people and partners creating trust as a safety net for all. You need to demonstrate that you allow your people freedom to perform, that you can communicate and share with them critical thoughts, and that you not only seek their input, but you value it as well. Help them play as best as they can, and they will in return show you how their best works for your company too.
Legend has it, and practice does not disprove it, that great leadership is not a matter of recipe but rather of chemistry or even alchemy. It is in that sense that we envision leadership as an art!
Panikos Sardos is the Managing Director of P&E Sardos Business Solutions Int., a management consulting firm that offers advisory services, coaching and training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +357 99640912, or visit our site at www.sardossolutions.com