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I came across this article, and I am fascinated, being a musician, how my 'other side' can be actually a learning medium for me. What I'm saying is that I am a musical director, and while that is at a small scale, in my capacity, it equates.

Isn't that interesting?

Anyway, there is this article which tries to direct us to learning about leadership from conductors. Honestly, at first, being in the semiconductor industry, I thought that the 'conductor' he was referring to is the conductor in electricity. It turns out he is referring to the conductor in an orchestra. And I can affirm what he is saying here.

So the fascination adds up. And for the article, read on...

What Conductors Can Teach Us About Leadership in Business and in Life

Leadership is very personal. There isn't a right or a wrong way to do it. I've seen many styles and almost all have a place. It depends on the situation and the personalities of the leader and those being led.

In general, I've observed two broad leadership styles in business and in life, one common and one not so much. The first kind of leader believes they have to protect their position and that others hold their success against them. No one is to be trusted. Respect is earned grudgingly, never given freely. They keep back information, are notorious for being passive aggressive and generally don't play well with others. Command and control are their princes. Hierarchy is their castle.

8 Keys to Self-LeadershipThis article is for managers who practice the other style. Managers who have the confidence to be open to ideas and contributions regardless of source. Their confidence also allows them to hear and accept criticism. And, if the feedback is fairly given, if it takes the team to a better place, they will accept and acknowledge its truth and incorporate the feedback into the plan, without concern that they will be perceived as weak. Credit is broadly distributed and all are respected without regard for position.

The first type is, I'm sorry to say, quite common and often achieves considerable success by focusing solely on short-term goals. The second approach is often criticized as "soft," usually by managers who pursue the first style, but don't be fooled. If given a chance, the "softer" approach is much more likely to bring innovation and growth to your organization. And, if you had the choice, who would you rather be led by? Well, so would your employees.

So now the question is,

"If I'm the second type, how can I do a better job? How do I become a better manager?"

Conductors Are Great Leaders

Enhancing Leadership Effectiveness Through Psychological Type: A Development Guide for Using Psychological Type With Executives, Managers, Supervisors, and Team LeadersYou can learn a lot by watching how conductors lead their orchestras. When I was a music student, many, many years ago, I had the good fortune to play in several orchestras led by excellent conductors. I learned a lot from them, things I use every day in business and in life. It's the approach that works for me and it may for you. Look for and foster the characteristics of a conductor in yourself, in your employees and in any hires you are considering.

Conductors focus their ego on the orchestra.

A conductor draws the best from the musicians in the orchestra by providing clear direction and by creating the environment where their talents can make the music better, an environment where they can shine. While the conductor is clearly the leader, their back is to the audience, so it isn't about what they can do, it's about what the orchestra can do. The great conductors focuses their egos on the orchestra's success.

Conductors are active listeners.

Choosing Appropriate Project Managers: Matching Their Leadership Style to the Type of ProjectActive listening is an important part of being an effective conductor. It is also important to business success. Listening is something we do all the time, take for granted actually, but great conductors are great listeners. How you listen to colleagues, to customers, to yourself is key. Are you just there or is listening a conscious activity? Are you thinking about what you want to say or about what is being said? A conductor listens with their eyes. They see what the music and musicians are and should be doing. Do you listen with your eyes?

Conductors conduct with empathy.

A conductor consider all points of view. They need to think like the individual musicians, to sit in their chairs, to understand how their part fits into the music being performed. Think about your team members' backgrounds and situations, and yours, and how it could be influencing their and your perspectives. Engage team members with your eyes and with your questions. Don't immediately judge what they say; consider their points of view or comments from a their perspective. When you lead, lead with empathy.

Conductors don't stifle individuality.

Developing Leaders: Research and Applications in Psychological Type and Leadership DevelopmentRecognize that team members will have their own styles. Great conductors adjust the performance to suit the individual styles of the musicians they are leading. Adjusting to team members' styles, rather than forcing them to match your style, makes them feel comfortable with you. If they are comfortable, if they aren't fighting to make their style work with yours, the team can focus on producing great work.

Conductors are self aware.

Leaders often underestimate the impact they have. A conductor can signal a whole section of the orchestra with a glance. The team is paying attention. Listen to yourself. Carefully consider the words you choose. Are they designed to draw out the conversation or close it down? Are you being judgmental or are you communicating openness to dissent and discussion?

Are you talking too much? A key to effective leadership is keeping your mouth shut. A pause in the conversation isn't always a bad thing. Watch the person you are talking to. Listen with your eyes. Are they thinking about the discussion? Are they formulating a comment, a question, a contribution? Let them finish. Don't immediately attempt to fill the space. Let the conversation develop at its pace. You will be amazed at what you can learn if you are paying attention and not talking.

Conductors make music, not noise.

Differentiated School Leadership: Effective Collaboration, Communication, and Change Through Personality TypeDissonance is what makes music interesting. Without it there isn't any drama; if there's no drama, it's boring. Conductors manage dissonance within the confines of the music's structure. It's the structure that give the dissonance a frame within which it becomes music. Without structure dissonance is noise.

Leaders understand this. They maintain and support societal structure, sometimes called common courtesy, to create an environment conducive to discourse. Leaders encourage discussion including disagreements but don't let it get out of control, they don't let it leave the realm of common courtesy. If you do, you lose the benefits that come from straightforward discussion and honest disagreement. Think 12 bar blues.

So what kind of leader are you?

    Introduction to Type and Leadership (Develop more effective leaders of every type)
  • Be a conductor. Focus on the team's success. Provide the leadership and resources team members need to solo and to play as an ensemble.
  • It's important to be confident, all great conductors have an ego, but focus your confidence on the work, on the team, so that they are successful and their success will become yours.
  • Let the team take its bows before you take yours. Without them you're nothing but a man or women with a short stick.
  • Great talent wants to work with great talent. Show your greatness by creating an environment where all can flourish.
  • Respect the people you work with. You will find it returned in spades.
  • Protect your people, stifle politics. Great things come when smart people are focused on the opportunity rather than protecting their backsides.
  • Be honest, with yourself and with others.
  • Listen, listen with your conscious mind, with empathy and care to many voices. And listen to what you're saying and how you're saying it. If you're talking you aren't listening.
  • Maintain decorum and civility within the team. Be the boss if that's what it takes. Keep the conversation courteous and respectful and great ideas will be born.

Transformational Leadership: 92 Tips For Using The Different Types Of Leadership To Identify Leadership Traits That Uncover Your Leadership StrengthsJames Hipkin, understands the practice of marketing as only someone with decades of practical experience can. His multi-disciplined background and broad exposure to major B2C brands in Europe and the US give him a unique perspective that leaders of businesses, big and small, can benefit from. James is available for consulting assignments and is an accomplished speaker. For more of his thoughts on Marketing Strategy, Customer Relationship Marketing and innovation go to Hipkin's Hip Shots.

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Taken from Ezine article directory with the same title:
What Conductors Can Teach Us About Leadership in Business and in Life
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For the very first time, my new boss (of several years already) has sent an inspirational story in the mail. Now this story has quite a strong punchline, a lesson, and for that alone, it is worthy of being posted in my Leading Leads site.

I enjoyed this, and I'm sure I will do my best to apply the lesson it offers.

Hope you do, too.

Read on...

An intelligent person responds; a fool reacts

by Deepak Shinde

Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve (HBR OnPoint Enhanced Edition)Three women met. Yeah you can guess??? Lots of discussion, exchange of news and views, loads of information. One particular part of their discussion caught my attention. One of the ladies, with a lot of interest, was sharing some interesting facts about cockroach. With a lot of amazement she was telling how a cockroach can run three miles in an hour and can change directions 25 times in a second. A cockroach could live a long time, perhaps a week, without its head. There was nonstop excitement in her voice as she continued saying, "A cockroach has amazing adaptability. It can survive in any climate, in any house condition, inside any crack, etc. Its antennae, which rivals NASA's Global Positioning System, helps it to locate other cockroaches with state-of-the-art precision. Cockroaches could be used to place surveillance devices in military installations. In fact, a cockroach can survive even an attack of atomic explosion."

Humble Pie...redefining the application of Humility.: A corporate executive's hard lesson in learning that humility is the most important tool in leading and managing people.Suddenly, a cockroach flew from nowhere and sat on her. I wondered if this was the cockroach's response to all the glory that was spoken about it! she started screaming out of fear. With panic-stricken face and trembling voice, she started doing stationary jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group got crank to what was happening. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach on to another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed its movement on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out.

Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead (J-B Warren Bennis Series)Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts a started wondering, 'Was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behaviour? If so, then, why was the waiter not perturbed? He handled it to near perfection, without any chaos. it is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance cuased by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies."

I realised, 'Even in my case then, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss that disturbs me, but it is my inability to handle the disturbance caused by their shouting that disturbs me. it is not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me. in all, it is not something that disturbs me, but it is my inability to handle the disturbance caused by that something that disturbs me. More than the problem, it is my reaction to the problem, which hurts me more."

A natural question popped up in my mind, "Then, how do I outgrow this limitation?"

Transparency: Creating a Culture of Candor (Your Coach in a Box)I understood. "I should not react. I should always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded. Reactions are instinctive, whereas responses are intellectual. Betwen the stimuli (what happens to me) and the response (what happens through me) if there is no gap, it creates reaction. But, between the stimuli and the response, if I use the gap to think and contemplate, then I can respond thoughtfully. An intelligent person responsed; a fool reacts.

What's your experience? Have you anything to say about this?

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When Orchard Central opens in June, the mall will be the first to open on Orchard Road in over 10 years. At the media preview yesterday, developer Far East Organization said it is targeting for a 75-per-cent occupancy by then. It now stands at 65 per cent. Director of Retail Management Susan Leng said that although very few new tenants had signed up in the last few months, more are now keen to lease space as the 12-storey mall nears completion.

“We are actually getting very encouraging results, and in the last few weeks, we have been chasing our lawyers to get the documentation ready,” said Ms Leng. She declined to reveal when she expects Orchard Central to be fully occupied, saying it’s hard to forecast during such tough economic times.

For concerned tenants who had signed leases before the recession, Ms Leng said Far East is reviewing their contracts and offering assistance to those who need it. Some of the new mall’s special features include a 24-hour rooftop garden, $9 million worth of commissioned artwork and an entire floor catering to all things Mediterranean.
- 93.8 LIVE

From TODAY, Business – Thursday, 09-April-2009
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He who knows not...

He who knows not,
And knows not that he knows not,
(shun him)

He who knows not,
And knows the he knows not,
(teach him)

He who knows,
And knows not that he knows,
(wake him up)

But he who knows,
And knows that he knows,
(follow him)

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This is an eZine article original, and the lesson presented is not to be missed; if missed, then it is a recommended read. Finally, the read is no value if the lesson is not applied.

After reading this, you would know what was the dispute before, whether a manager is a leader, or is a leader a manager? Are they different? In what ways are they similar? What functions do they serve?
Read on...

Abraham Zaleznik on Leadership

E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class CompanyIn the late 1970's and early 80's a number of writers ganged up on management. They were looking for a scapegoat to blame for the failure of U.S. business to cope with the Japanese commercial invasion. The war cry was to replace managers with leaders. One of the most strident critics of management was the Harvard Business School professor, Abraham Zaleznik. It is time to bring management back from the dead, to take its rightful place alongside leadership as an essential organizational function. To do this we need to expose the writings of management's detractors to show what nonsense they were writing. Actually, there was nothing wrong with the function of management in the 1970's, just the way it was practiced. The attack of Zaleznik is especially important to address because the Harvard Business Review is still publishing his original 1977 article (Managers and leaders: Are they different?) in their collection of articles on leadership, thereby creating the impression that his views are still relevant and up to date when they are actually dangerously outdated and harmful.

Zaleznik makes his case against modern management by comparing it with Fredrick Taylor's scientific management theories. Bearing in mind that Taylor died in 1915, it is astonishing that Zaleznik does not demonstrate why it is legitimate to compare Taylor's views with the way modern managers operate, so his views are questionable even before we start to examine his arguments.

Managerial Mystique: Restoring Leadership in Business

In a book published in 1989, The Managerial Mystique, Zaleznik says that ''what Taylor proposed through his system of management lies at the core of how modern managers are supposed to think and act. The principle is rationality. The aim is efficiency.'' Most importantly, Zaleznik believed that managers and leaders differ in terms of their personalities. Taking his lead from Taylor, Zaleznik describes managers as being cold efficiency machines who ''adopt impersonal, if not passive, attitudes towards goals.'' Further, ''Managers see themselves as conservators and regulators of an existing order of affairs.'' He tells us that ''managers' tactics appear flexible: on the one hand they negotiate and bargain; on the other, they use rewards, punishments, and other forms of coercion.'' So, managers are only apparently flexible and they are coercive, even manipulative in Zaleznik's eyes. In his 1977 article Zaleznik makes exactly the same claim, stating that: '' often hears subordinates characterize managers as inscrutable, detached and manipulative.''

Zaleznik would have us believe that, while managers seek activity with people, they ''maintain a low level of emotional involvement in those relationships.'' They also apparently ''lack empathy''. Zaleznik expands on the emotional theme in The Managerial Mystique by telling us that managers ''operate within a narrow range of emotions. This emotional blandness when combined with the preoccupation on process, leads to the impression that managers are inscrutable, detached and even manipulative.

Seven Myths about Small Groups: How to Keep from Falling Into Common TrapsIt is not clear what evidence Zaleznik has for these damning charges. He seems to be doing nothing more than extrapolating from Fredrick Taylor's conception of management without ever asking himself whether management as a function is committed to Taylor's characterization of it. Starting with Taylor's worship of machine-like efficiency, Zaleznik has tarred all managers for all time with the same brush.

Zaleznik believes that leaders are creative and interested in substance while managers are only interested in process - how things are done, not what. For Zaleznik, ''leaders, who are more concerned with ideas, relate in more intuitive and empathetic ways.'' No doubt leaders are more interested in ideas than how they get implemented, but there is no basis whatsoever for calling leaders more empathetic than managers.

Fundamentally, there is no real basis for this personality distinction. It is not good enough to say that managers were controlling from the time of Taylor until the Japanese invasion showed them up. Even if this is historically accurate, there is nothing in this alleged fact that commits management to operating today in this manner. The simple way around Zaleznik's condemnation of management is to define it functionally, in terms of what purpose it serves, not in terms of how it actually achieves its purpose. This leaves the means of managing completely open.

Management versus Leadership

The Congruent Leader: An Integral Model for the Evolution of Effective LeadershipAn easy way of defining leadership and management is to say that leaders promote new directions while managers execute existing ones. In addition, it is widely recognized today that leaders can have widely different personalities ranging from quiet, determined and factual to bubbly, erratic but inspiring cheerleader types. The whole movement to differentiate leaders from managers along personality lines has failed miserably and it is time to give it up. The truth is that both leaders and managers can be inspiring, they just have a different focus. An inspiring leader moves us to change direction while an inspiring manager motivates to work harder. Yes, managers promote efficiency, but this doesn't have to mean Fredrick Taylor's mechanistic assembly line efficiency. Management is like investment. Effective managers deploy all resources at their disposal where they will get the best return on that investment. In modern organizations, populated by intelligent knowledge workers, this might mean setting up self-managing teams. To get the best return out of such talent, modern managers need to be good coaches, nurturers and developers of people. Of course, they need to measure and monitor performance to know if their deployments of people are paying off, but this does not entail doing so in a cold, mechanical or controlling manner.

In conclusion, management is just as important a function in organizations as leadership and it is time to cast aside the views of writers such as Abraham Zaleznik who argue otherwise. Moreover, the fact that his writing is still endorsed by the Harvard Business School raises questions about their credibility.

See for more information on this and related topics. Mitch McCrimmon has over 30 years experience in executive assessment and coaching. His latest book, Burn! 7 Leadership Myths in Ashes, 2006, challenges conventional thinking on leadership. Warning: you might find it annoying if you are committed to the usual platitudes about leadership.

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I got this story from Ezine articles, and the message that it is sending forth is quite a breaker from today's prevailing culture. When the common leadership calls for the leader to be standing infront, or leading the pack, it is quite a sudden change or an uncommon thing that a leader is leading from the back.

Not so with this gentleman told about in the story. I could say equally that 'he is my type of guy, my type of leader' - quietly and unassumingly leading the pack - from the back.

Read on...


Leading the Pack From the Back

I'll never forget this...

It's March of 2007 and I'm attending my first Toastmasters speech contest. I don't know a single soul. I arrive at the building and there's this casually dressed guy, clean-cut, a huge smile, semi-nasally voice with thin-rimmed eyeglasses directing traffic.

"It's not this building. It's two buildings that-a-way," he instructed.

"Okay chief," I complied.

As I'm parking the car, I'm thinking Mr. Traffic Cop must not be that important. He's only directing traffic. He can't be one of those higher-ups in the organization. If he were he'd be inside: busy facilitating the contest.

To my surprise, Mr. Traffic Cop spoke that evening. He gave a humorous speech about his latest adventure visiting a new dentist. He stole the show.

His calm Clark Kent exterior hid the Super Comedy Man interior. He had the audience rolling on the floor, holding their sides, in the fetal position laughing hysterically. He wasn't only good-he was "The Bomb."

I couldn't picture this earlier when I pulled up on the driveway. I thought he was someone low on the totem pole. Speaking contestants weren't supposed to be performing menial jobs. They're supposed to dress sharp and receive lavish accolades.

My bad...

I found out Super Comedy Man has filled so many roles in his home club that he is now its current president. He also leads three other clubs as their area governor. He possesses a strong resolve to pull off everything he's involved with.

Do you know what I learned from him that March evening?

True leaders do deeds...

That meet all needs...

So everyone succeeds.

What is the secret to his success? What makes him such agood leader? What does he do that gains him so much respect?

Super Comedy Man's three assets that can make you an invaluable leader:

1) Putting others first. In Star Trek II, gasping his last few breaths Mr. Spock said, "The needs of the many outweigh the need of the one." He had given his life to save the Enterprise. It was the most touching and unforgettable scene in the entire series.

This flies in the face of today's Me First Society. From early school age, children are programmed to get the best grades, land the best jobs and live in the best neighborhoods. Unfortunately, they never really stand out among the pack.

Then you hear about someone like Sister Teresa. She didn't own much, but what she had she gave away. She made the honor roll by putting others' needs first.

2) Giving from within. In the Middle East there's a body of water called the Dead Sea. Nothing lives in it because water flows in, but cannot flow out. It's stagnant.

In nature there's no stagnation. Everything that lives... gives. The seed gives fruit, the sun gives life, and the clouds give rain.

It's the same for human beings. Those who give with integrity usually get back much more than they invested. Yet can you believe there are people who never share their abundance, talents or knowledge? Hoarding leads to stagnancy.

3) Being a team player. It's no mystery that five mediocre team players can usually beat five lone ranger all-stars in almost any sport. Their secret is teamwork. The power of a united group poses too mighty a force for most opponents.

Part of participating in a winning team involves filling other roles when needed. That may include doing tasks that might be a little beneath you. Your teammates will respect you even more for taking odd jobs when needed.

You may also have to share, or step backward from the limelight. Doing so helps keep your team strong and balanced while achieving a common goal. It's called an "assist" in basketball. One player alley oops while the other gets the slam dunk.

If you are a leader or want to become one-people will watch, model and even quote you. Especially if they admire you. Put on a smile and show them you can lead from any position.

Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy's Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at

If you're a speaker, trainer, coach, or a consultant-the major challenge you face is connecting with your audience. You talk, shout, or recite your message while they are dreaming about dinner.

Their eyes are glossy, their minds' elsewhere, and their bodies ready to bolt. You don't have a lot of time, so you've got to grab their attention fast. Or else, you'll die wrestling against audience resistance.

But it doesn't have to be this way...

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Space Travel (Science Fiction Writing Series)The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer's Guide to Interstellar Travel (Wiley Science Editions)Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary TravelFrom the Earth to the Moon - The Signature EditionSpace Travel: The RealityThe Hazards of Space Travel: A Tourist's GuideAmerica In Space: NASA's First Fifty YearsInterstellar Travel & Multi-Generational Space Ships: Apogee Books Space Series 34America was first to step on the moon, but the Russian astronauts displayed superior intelligence when they used pencils for writing - saving billions of dollars in research for the same writing material to be used in space (compared to America).

With many other countries following and embarking to "step out into the space", this one from Japan is a first of its kind. What is that thing?

Read on:

Naoko Yamazaki knows you have to look good at work even if your work is in outer space. Japanese fashion designer Tae Ashida has created a designer suit for the female astronaut to wear during her stay on the International Space Station. "As a female designer, I chose a design and colour with a sense of grace ... so that she can feel at ease as she carries out a tough mission in a male-dominated, bleak atmosphere. It's like a dream come true to see my clothes worn in space," said Ashida. "I'm looking forward to seeing her wear my design."

Now there has been lady astronauts before, but this one wearing a designer clothes is first in mankind's history. And why not? Space suits were primarily designed for men, ain't that right?

What's next? Non-smearing lipstick? Space-environment lotion? What have you to offer to 'make' space travel better? Or vain?

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