high performing teams

#1 Job of a Leader

The #1 job of a leader was clearly illustrated at a high school choir concert last night. Actually, there are two intertwined #1 jobs that every effective leader must do consistently.

1. Inspire – inspire the rest of the organization to bring everything they’ve got, every day, to do their absolute best. The young men and young women on stage were inspired – they were doing their best, in spite of their nerves. They watched their director (and I’ve been in too many choirs that DIDN’T watch the director!), because they trusted their director to lead them successfully.

2. Encourage – the root of the word encourage is Old French “couer”, meaning heart. So an effective leader “heartens” the people. For one song, the choir did not come in properly. The director stopped the beat (and the singers stopped, because they were watching her). The director smiled at them, gave the downbeat again, and this time it worked. What could have been a VERY embarrassing situation for high school students was treated as inconsequential by the director. No wonder the students follow the director – she gives them courage to keep on keeping on, even when things go wrong publicly.

So, kudos to the various choirs of McMinnville High School, and the two directors. They demonstrated leadership – and they got wonderful results.

I welcome comments and feedback.

Gary Langenwalter