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To lead an orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd.

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Have you ever seen a leader who loves the attention he is getting? Maybe you had a bratty class president in high school or your manager at work who clearly loves using the power he has.

True leadership isn’t about showing off power or being able to boss people around. True leadership is about working with your team to create something bigger than the individual. One of the best examples of a good leader is the conductor of an orchestra. In an orchestra, the maestro, or the conductor, is in charge of guiding the orchestra. Although the leader, he stands with his back against the audience. Here are 3 lessons we can learn about leadership from an orchestra conductor.

3 Leadership Lessons from an Orchestra Conductor

A Good Leader Doesn’t Follow the Crowd

A true leader doesn’t follow trends or do what everyone else is doing. They also don’t do what is cool or what might win him popularity. A true leader does what is best for the team, the project, and the group at large. It doesn’t matter to him what is happening in the crowd, whether it is clapping or booing, interested or distracted. He is separate from the crowd and stays focused on the job at hand.

If you want to be a good leader, you must be okay with standing alone and being different. This is easier said than done, especially in our modern world with social media and pop culture all around us. If we don’t jump in on a trend immediately, whether it is a Tik Tok challenge, sipping on Dalgona coffee, or watching Squid Game, it can be easy to feel behind and isolated from the world. However, remind yourself that leaders aren’t distracted by what the rest of the crowd is doing. A true leader has the strength to stand alone.

A Good Leader is Focused

Although an orchestra conductor is ‘performing’ on stage, they aren’t facing the crowd. Rather, they are fully focused on the task at hand. They are completely immersed into guiding the rest of the orchestra to create something beautiful. If you want to be a true leader, you must stay focused on the task at hand, fully attentive at creating the best outcome possible.

A Good Leader Doesn’t Look for External Validation

How often have you done something just to be validated or noticed by others? Maybe you cooked a lavish dinner for your partner and posted about it on social media. Or maybe you worked a little extra at work so that your boss notices you.

It’s easy to do things to get noticed by others. As social beings, we crave validation and appreciation from others. However, what sets a true leader apart is that they don’t do things for credit or appreciation. The best leaders are the ones who do their job silently and strive for excellence. Their motivation is intrinsic, not extrinsic.

Remember, leaders are often portrayed to be loud, charismatic, bold, and in the limelight. However, a true leader is far from that. A true leader is unafraid to be different, is strong, strives for excellence, and is focused on guiding and inspiring his team for a positive outcome. Everybody wants fame, attention, and credit for doing a good job. However, a true leader, like an orchestra conductor, turns his back to the applause and focuses on the job at hand. 

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