Let’s talk, “Leaders.” What makes one? What are the qualities that set leaders apart? Are leaders “born”? Or are leaders “groomed”? Are they a particular breed? Or is their destiny just fate? And have you ever considered – actually pondered; evaluated – how much of a leader you are? –Let’s find out!
Obviously, for you to know where you fall on the proverbial Leadership Richter Scale, you’ve got first to understand what qualities make a leader. Here are a few that come to mind. Leaders:
See The Big Picture
* See The Big Picture. Leaders know where they fit in the greater scheme of things. For example, you may realize you’ve got the hottest guitar licks around, but what does the rest of the world think? Do they even know you well enough to judge your licks? And when you present yourself, how do you carry yourself … your entire “persona”? As a leader, “Seeing The Big Picture” means striking the proper balance between the confidence you need to showcase yourself and your musical talent, and the humility you equally need to have a good grip on where & how others perceive you. –And to do it all while being the consummate music business professional, you must be at all times.
* Are Visionaries. All leaders are visionaries. Not only do they understand human nature well enough to predict the down-the-road Writing-On-The-Wall often correctly… but they also know how to feed into it, and contribute significantly toward actually making it happen. –Do you? See the writing on the wall? Routinely? Can you see what the future will probably bring if “A+B+C” occur? If you want to be a leader, gain insight into “People,” and you can become a visionary!
* Set Standards. More times than not, leaders are the bar! And they set the standard through their instincts; their persuasion; their persistence; — and every other quality I’m listing.
* Follow Through. Leaders take even the pickiest things to their conclusion. –How about you? Are you committed enough to the professional advancement of your music career to stay at it? Every day? To go through the oft-times drudgery and repetitive monotony that making & keeping the right, stable connections mean? …And closely related, are you Detail-Oriented enough to keep good records and be on top of your game at the drop of a hat? Or to answer others’ questions on the spot? Without hesitation? But with knowledge?
Make Sound Decisions
* Make Sound Decisions. ( and I’m not talking Fender amps). Leaders think with their brains, not their hearts. True, they’ve got hearts (see immediately below), but the decisions they make are smart ones, not emotional ones. Nor are leaders fence-sitters. Ask them what to do in any situation, and they will know. No wishy-washy, hand-wringing hem-hawing around! –And you? Do you snuggle-up just a little too cozy to the fence post? Or do you take the bull by the horns and Ride ‘Em?
* Give Thanks. Often, and with sincerity. It’s not the faux “thanks” you hear politicians rattle off while listing a litany of individuals helping them at their next campaign stop. But rather, the kind of thanks that, of itself, demonstrates your genuine gratitude for whatever is the catalyst for the thanks. It is the kind of thanks that is inherent in a pair of praying hands. –In fact, going to The Source to give thanks is just as important as giving thanks to your fellow man, I’d say.
But these qualities are just the tip of Leadership Iceberg. Leaders also possess in the very core of their beings:
1. Integrity & empathy
3. Excellent communications skills (both speaking and listening)
3. Ability to motivate others
4. Unmitigated patience
5. doggedly positive attitudes
6. Never-ending internal “fight
–So look inward: Do you possess these qualities? How many of them? If so, then CONGRATULATIONS!: YOU’RE A LEADER! But if you’re lacking, GET BUSY! There might be a Leader lurking around inside you, and all you need to do is polish it up!
–In the final analysis, do you have what it takes? Are you a Leadership diamonds-in-the rough? Or are you all shined up and ready for the market? Either way, a professional business person, or as a professional musician – BOTH of which you are – know that you need these leadership skills in your pocket. “Competition” alone ought to tell you that.
So look into your psychological repertoire. Are these leadership qualities tucked inside? ……
Till next time,