By Benjamin Zander, 81, a British conductor who is the musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
COMMENT ON THIS VIDEO BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP: Well put, Benjamin Zander! The job of the leader is to make those in his charge “big”; to enable others to become the best that they can be. If people are not realising their full potential, the leader needs to look at himself and ask, “What do I need to give this personal which will enable her to excel?” Only when the leader changes do the people change. The ultimate beneficiary is the leader, he grows.
OUR SUMMARY OF THIS VIDEO: The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. His picture appears on the front of the CD but he doesn’t make a sound. He depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful.
That realisation changed everything for me – it was totally life-changing. People in my orchestra came up to me and said, “Ben what happened?”
What happened is I realised my job was to awaken possibility in other people.
And of course I wanted to know whether I was actually doing that. And you know how you find out? You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shiny you know you’re doing it.
If their eyes are not shiny, ask this question, “Who am I being that my players’ eyes are not shining?”
I have a definition of success. For me it’s very simple, and it’s not about wealth and fame and power. It’s about how many shiny eyes I have around.
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