Lessons in leadership can come from many different sources. A mentor and former colleague of mine shared this with me and I thought I would pass it along to you.
In a 2008 TED Talk, classical music conductor Benjamin Zander discusses, The transformative power of classical music. In it, he shares an important lesson about leadership.
He says, “But the conductor doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed everything for me. It was totally life-changing. People in my orchestra said, “Ben, what happened?” That’s what happened. I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people. And of course, I wanted to know whether I was doing that. How do you find out? You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it.”
Like a coach or a CEO, most leaders create the conditions for success rather than doing all of the work on their own. Zander’s description of his role as conductor is a basic function of leadership. His feedback mechanism of looking for “shining eyes,” is one that I always keep in mind when practicing leadership, public speaking, and presentations.
Please watch the TED Talk and contact me if it spoke to you too.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Part of a leader’s impact is to, “awaken possibility in other people.” Leaders can see if they are successful by looking for “shining eyes”.