Truth #1 As Conductor, You Make the Difference. Before you lead you have to believe you can have a positive impact on others. When you believe you can make a difference, you position yourself to hear the call to lead.
Truth #2 Integrity is the Podium on which you Stand. If people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you. You must do what you say you are going to do. This means being so clear about your beliefs that you can live them every day.
Truth #3 It is the Why that Motivates the Work. You need to know why you do what you do, because you can only fully commit to the organization or cause when there is a good fit between what you value and what the organization values. This is true too, for the people you lead.
Truth #4 Your Focus on the End Goal is what makes you a Leader. You have to be forward looking. Just look at your choir--they are looking at the present--YOU are looking at the future. This is the quality that most differentiates leaders from individual contributors. You need to spend time reflecting on the future. It is the vision that resonates with others, inspiring and energizing.
Truth #5 You are Not doing this Alone. Leadership is a team sport, and you need to engage others in the cause. You need to enable others to be even better than they already are. Make that the goal of every rehearsal, and make better mean something better than only correct pitches and rhythms.
Truth #6 The Glue for your work is Trust. To enlist others, you need trust. Build mutual trust; you must trust others too.
Truth #7 Problems Define you as a Leader. Great achievements don’t happen when you keep things the same. Change invariably involves challenge, and challenge tests you. It introduces you to yourself. It brings you face-to-face with your level of commitment, your grittiness, and your values. It reveals your mindset about change.
Truth #8 There is a Reason that you as conductor are the one standing in front, and easy to identify by the audience. You have to go first as a leader. That’s what it takes to get others to follow your lead.
Truth #9 The Maestro is also the Allievo. Learning is the master skill of leadership. Leaders are constant improvement fanatics. The teacher (maestro) is also the never-ending student (allievo).
Truth #10 Conducting is your passion. Leaders love what they’re doing and those they lead. Leaders make others feel great about themselves and are gracious in showing their appreciation to others.
*Adapted from the research of Kouzes and Posner as outlined in their book The Truth About Leaderhip.