As much as a conductor is a guide to an orchestra, so is a CEO a guide to an organization.
In either case, it is the trust of the person who holds the helm to develop relationships and create an aligned effort among the people who follow.
People are the cornerstone. A leader’s influence among the people is derived from their ability to establish authentic connections and maintain momentum primarily by way of observation. Only when a leader recognizes that their strength lies within the relationships they have with their own people will they have sufficient moments to keep their finger on the the pulse of their organization and let go enough to truly lead.
The observant leader assumes the role of silent conductor, and by doing so engages the hearts and minds of his or her followers.
Engaging hearts and minds means developing relationships such that a leader can key into the strengths, needs and interests that will serve and spark members of the organization. This, too, is true of building an orchestra.
Having the right players in the right seats and sections makes the difference between music and noise; organizational function and dysfunction.
Everyone has a part to play and each section or division is essential to the whole. Whether it is the musical score or strategic plan, positive outcome is the result of a clearly communicated vision.
A clear vision that resonates with others will also spark momentum. Momentum stays alive not by telling people what to do, but rather aligning them to do the right things in support of the vision.
People must feel safe to speak out as they speak up to do their best work even if it means striking the wrong chord every now and then.
Empower those closest to the work to initiate change. Train them to recognize the best next steps. Leaders know things their people don’t know, but their people also know things they don’t know.
Keep the vision alive in your organization by speaking of it frequently and modeling it often. Lead by example. The tone is set from top. You may be the only version of the strategic plan that your followers read on a regular basis.