One of the many interesting hats I wear is as a Leadership Development consultant for Corporate Teams. It is a fascinating space and one hungry for Artists who can help bridge the connectors between the Arts and effective Leadership Skills. I was going through some of my old marketing emails and came across one to a client from a few years back who asked me to address "Helping Leaders Communicate Through Times of Change". It kind of stopped me in my tracks. The reason being I have personally been going through some seismic changes of my own these past few years, leaving a company I had worked for ten years, striking out on my own as a Leadership Development consultant and moving to New York to pursue my Music and Acting Career.
Its funny how sometimes your own thoughts come back to re-awaken your personal vision and values. In the email to my client I responded: " #Leadership is about moving your #Team with you. It is about painting a vision of the future and caring about your people by tapping into the imagination, goals and passions of your team. Its about honesty and inspiring commitment through example. When people know you care about them they will listen. Change is scary, it means uncertainty. Leadership means understanding and being clear about the vision you paint. In the example of music, when I write a song I write a few lines of verse, maybe a catchy pre-chorus and then a solid (hopefully) memorable chorus. You have to create a 'hook' (message). If you're not clear as a songwriter what you're trying to say in the lyrics or the melody the message becomes cloudy, people tune out. You have to hold attention, inspire imagination, that means tapping into what your people want. My former boss was fond of saying "there are two types of leaders in the world: ones you'd walk through fire for, and ones you'd like to push into the fire!" Listening to your people makes them feel valued, if they're a part of the vision it inspires commitment and trust."
As Artists (Actors/Singers/Dancers/Visual Artists/Writers) we are in a sense constantly tasked with 'painting a vision of our future for ourselves'. Its a constant challenge to keep that vision sharp. When you're leading a High Performing Team it requires buy-in. The effective Manager or Executive understands that tapping into the imagination of his/her team and their values draws the individual to the ensemble force. The sharper you understand your Team's values the sharper you can create a powerful vision of the future.