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Archive for the category “sales and marketing”

Learn great leadership from orchestra conductors – What is your style?


Learn great leadership from orchestra conductors – What is your style? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

When I was young(er) I really did not get the point what an orchestra conductor’s job really was supposed to be. Sure the hairdos and wild gestures were very impressive, but how did all of that transpose into leadership and much less into the beautiful music? After all, the musicians were all professionals who obviously knew their instruments and music? How does a conductor merely lead by gesturing?

Point is that much can be learned about the conductor and leadership by just watching them during performances (please watch this TED Talk about this topic here). By far the worst by today’s standards are the tyrants who honestly think only their interpretation of the music should be played. This turns the musicians into mere instruments. That is so yesteryear. The first conductor shown in the linked video was told that he was indeed a great conductor, but he was also invited to quit at the same time. The musicians appear to not being able to stand the egocentric life and leadership style.

Then there are the minimalists who keep their musicians guessing what and when and how they are supposed to play. Sound familiar? With leaders like that there are fields of raw eggs to stomp on – no matter where you step there may be a mess soon.

The semi good conductors provide visible and audible low key directions. They enjoy the performance and really attempt inviting the musicians to interpret the pieces making the performance memorable.

The crème dela crème are conductors who lead by increasing their musician’s potential. At the performance they are merely there providing a presence of comfort and collaboration. The rest is up to the team of musicians and the notes in front of them. Responsibility and autonomy are at a natural balance. Every stake holder is better off and the audience gets to experience a really unique concert. It’s one of a kind; one that is meant only for this audience.

Substitute conductor for the name of your boss and see where he/ she may fall. Do they know where you stand and are they working on getting better at leadership? If so, be candid and share this post and / or the video with them. Having the courage to look at themselves and then having the persistence of making changes are great ideas. If the leader-manager is you, well, what is your management style?

Ralf

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“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right”


“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right” 

This quote is from Henry Ford and he got this right: I care or I don’t, it shows either way. Sticking around work because you need the money and that is a way to get it may be a way making ends meet, but it is a dead end career move. It will always show that you are not “in to it”. Your coworkers may notice it first and draw their own conclusions from it, your leadership will also notice. Guess what, while your job may never be in danger of getting eliminated because you are competent – you will end up getting stuck doing whatever you are doing now.

Only when you truly care about your job and what you do does this genuinely show. That can create an upward career spiral with fantastic results. First and foremost you will end up asking for more work that you love doing. Perhaps you may ask your manager do something different too. It’s not about the quantity but quality and greater responsibility that will make your work more fulfilling.

Beginning and ending a job always involve YOU. Make a choice to either get “in to it” or to get out. Understanding that this choice may not be easy at all to make, also realize that nothing ever changes, if the pain of remaining the same is not greater than the pain of changing.

Ralf

1 occasion when tunnel vision is actually a good thing


1 occasion when tunnel vision is actually a good thing 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

Usually tunnel vision has a bad connotation. I claim there is a good version of it. This is happening when you are part of a really deep, meaningful, and thus genuine dialog with another person, or a group of people.

Have you ever caught yourself having a conversation with someone at e.g. a restaurant and at the end you finally notice that the patrons have long gone, but you had not noticed that? In fact, you may not have noticed what your waiter looked like, and that literally hours had passed you by. That is what I call positive tunnel vision.

Part of it is that your mind is deeply in thought about what is said and you keenly focus on your dialog with your partner(s). It is fun to partake in the discussion and you mutually benefit from what you talk about.

A key area of this is not only fun, but very fulfilling: Dates. Have you ever noticed how fast times flies right on by you and you do not notice anything but your date? How can this get any better than this? Make good use of times like these ones.

Another good sign that you have had such a genuine discussion is that you may feel exhausted. It takes a lot of energy out of you when you are totally present and in the moment. That is even more so a good reason to be really picky about with whom you have a chat like this.

It is always a great idea to think about how much of a time limit you want to give yourself. Also, think about what you want to get out of a conversation at a minimum; you do not want to come out of a meeting with no tangible outcome. For example, a list of topics you wanted to cover. So much energy and time should not go in vain.

Tunnel vision is a loss of peripheral vision – you focus on the middle and notice nothing around it. Sometimes this can be really bad, but at the same time it can be good because you can focus all of your attention on your conversation partners. The latter can be very rewarding and provide the discussion partner with long-term mutual benefits. Here is to a new year with many opportunities to having such meaningful conversations.

Ralf

1 better way to get to know people right from the first moment you meet them


1 better way to get to know people right from the first moment you meet them 

Image credit: Pablo by Buffer

Note: Skip this post if you need no more friends or customers.

This one concept comes down to one simple concept: Do not tell – ask open-ended questions. It is also the worst kept secret because so many people know about it and yet choose not to employ it. It is a mental challenge that you must be willing to accept. Attention is scarce and not easy to come by and you might be tempted to use every opportunity to tell people about yourself and your ideas and concepts. You may not believe me, but you might as well not say anything – yet. There is a time for everything and when you are just meeting people for the first time and even folks whom you may have known for a while, just hold back with your stuff.

So how do you connect to people in a more meaningful manner? Simply, you establish rapport by asking engaging open ended questions. Hold on and fasten your chin straps because you may get to know so much more even about friends you may have known forever. When you let your counterparts connect at a deeper level you can finally intersect yourself. Do it in a way such that the topic and your answer are still a fit.

This equates to a win-win situation for everyone involved. The people you connected with will get to know you and they got a decent amount of attention. That should make them feel pretty good. The very same folks will also provide you with attention that you had better use well by providing valuable information and help. How much better will you feel if something that you said helps someone else in social life and even career? It may merely provide them with another point of view, which may help them make a better decision in the future.

It is this seemingly little stuff that can make a huge impact on you and others. Do yourself a favor and give this a try. Tip: Next time that you are at a family or company gathering instead of asking “What do you do?” ask “Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself?” perhaps with a follow up one like “What are you most passionate about?”. Of course only try this if you are really genuinely interested. Have some fun with this.

Ralf

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