Collaboration –> Remarkable

Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio

Last night my family and I took in the Azusa Pacific University School of Music’s Celebrate Christmas Concert, which showcased 8 chorale and instrumental student ensembles. As expected, they put on quite a show, receiving a standing ovation at the end of the performance. As I reflected on the performance, two collaboration lessons stood out to me.

First, while each of the ensembles was excellent in its own right, the evening’s finest moments came when the various ensembles combined their efforts. The sight, sounds, and synergy of several hundred students working together was spectacular. Those collaborative moments required great coordination, demonstrated remarkable creativity, and showcased individual talent amidst the whole group. The result was incredible. 

So, what do you do that… 

  • requires great coordination,
  • demonstrates remarkable creativity, and 
  • showcases individual talent amidst the efforts of the whole group?

If you can’t answer with confidence, perhaps it’s time to work more together, so that you can create something awe-inspiring.

Second, the first time I saw the majority of the ensemble conductors was at the very end of the performance when they went up to take a bow. Up to that point, several of them were sitting in the audience, coordinating things backstage, or otherwise occupied while the ensembles performed. Apparently, they had lead (taught, inspired, coordinated, etc.) their groups so well they no longer had to be present for the group to perform with excellence. That should cause some reflection for all of us who lead.

Are those you lead able to perform at a high level when you’re not present, directing every move? Or are they totally dependent on you?  

Great leaders realize it’s not all about them, yet influence others to do great things! I’m reminded of my favorite leadership quote: “The measure of who as a leader is not what you do but what others do because of what you do.” – Howard Hendricks

P.S. If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a person who loves thinking about the changing organizational world and how we can thrive within it, I encourage you to get Igniting the Invisible Tribe by my friend Josh Allan Dykstra. As I see it, you should get this book because, in it, Josh offers practical insights for how the creators of organizations (that’s all of us) can design organizations that value humanity, respond to the new world of work, and produce meaningful, profitable results. It’s a great book. Get it for that special someone (or for you). You won’t be disappointed.

P.P.S. My new ebook BURST is now available on Amazon Kindle. Of course, it’s also available for free when you sign up for email updates. But, if you don’t want to give that to me, you can buy it now and read it on your Kindle (or Kindle app on other devices).

If you’ve read it, I’d be honored if you’d go to Amazon and leave a brief review of the ebook there and let others know about it via TwitterFacebook, or by forwarding this email.

Photo Credit: Jordan Fischer  

photo by: jordanfischer

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