Posted 1 years 71 days ago ago by Hugh Ballou 0 Comments
The music director is a Transformational Leader. Leaders get things done. Leaders know how things get done. Leaders influence others in the following ways:
The choice is yours. Which do you choose?
Music directors have a specific amount of time to influence people and produce a final result that is of the highest quality. Leaders are judged by results created. The results created by musical directors are immediately evident, so we are, as conductors, as good as our most recent result. Staying on top of our game as leaders in a music environment is dependent on consistency and clarity of purpose.
Leaders teach others how to behave, it's more obvious and directly apparent with music than in organizational non-musical functions, however, there are many similarities.
During the year 2012, Leadership Tools will highlight examples of leadership from the perspective of the church musician.
This series started with the 5 Dumbest Things a Director Says to a Choir and includes the Top 5 Church Musician Leadership Skills.
One of the most dysfunctional system in the church is the annual review which is also referred to as the annual evaluation. The first dysfunction is as the title says, "Annual Review." Why wait a full year to tell someone if they are doing a good job or not. And certainly why wait a full year to correct something? Many of these reviews are filled with stress on both sides - the employee being reviewed and the reviewer or review team or committee.
In my first book Moving Spirits, Building Lives: Church Musician as Transformational Leader, I point out that 10% of the work of the church musician is related to music and the rest is not, however, if you take the musical part of the job, only 10% of the work is visible to others. The church musician is a leader influencing others and inspiring excellence, not only in musical performance, but also throughout the work of ministry. We recruit, nurture, coach, plan, build teams, rehearse, visit, worship, and provide support for ministry in many other ways.
Demonstrate your leadership expertise by educating others on the work of the church musician.
Here's a list of 5 things a church musician can do to make an annual review more productive
Know your plan - Create goals for your music program for the next 12 months. The most effective goals are in the following format - SMART: Specific, Measured, Accountable, Realistic, and Timed. Write each goal describing a specific future result expressed in present tense. Create a compelling image of a future result. It's the same skill a conductor uses when preparing music. Writing the goal in present tense is key. Visualize the result as already having happened. Write only 3 or 4 goals - that's enough. Having too many goals is only confusing and fragments your work. You are the best person to define the outcomes of the work. Be sure that the committee, Senior Pastor, or whomever you report to understands and supports your goals. You are setting the bar for evaluation. Ask for monthly check points and put monthly objectives into your goal sheet. Create opportunities for updating the committee, a committee representative, or the pastor to connect with you to talk about what is going well and where you need help. We have good intent when setting goals, however, sometimes things get complicated and it's good to get other perspectives and maybe some help. You don't want to wait a full year to hear from them, so model what it looks like to have monthly check points.
Know your job - update your position description. Make sure that it accurately describes your roles and responsibilities. This is not a laundry list of list of tasks. It is a description of roles and responsibilities. This is only half of the work. The goals you set provide the missing piece. What will you accomplish. Nobody know better than the musical conductor about creating results. Many people create a lot of activity. The musician must produce results in every rehearsal. This is true for the rest of our work. We produce results. Be very clear when defining your results on an ongoing basis. You will inspire other with your success.
Pay attention to the triangles - are you talking to people who influence your evaluation directly, or are there others who are not in the conversation that have input into the process. This process is part educational and part relational. You have created a context for meaningful conversation about the desired outcomes for ministry - specifically, music ministry. A survey is deadly. It's a place for people to make vague comments and hide as anonymous. Encourage meaningful conversations. Sometimes a committee will report that "somebody" (unnamed) thinks that we sing too many unfamiliar hymns. This is not helpful to you or the person complaining. Ask to be connected directly to that person and then you can understand where the gap may be. When this happens, the discussion is rarely about hymns. Remember leadership and ministry are build around relationships. Be aware of the power position in the triangles and attempt to close the gap.
Manage your emotions - control your own anxiety. Anxiety spreads fast. If you are anxious, then others will pick up on it and may become anxious as well. Stay in control of your emotions to keep the situation calm and so you can think clearly. No tips here. This is difficult. It takes practice. Create a positive image of success to place in your mind. You can't hold a positive and negative though at the same time.
Ask for what you need - the church asks for results from each person. The church musician works with others to produce results. We are in relationship with members in ministry (nobody volunteers - we are all called to ministry). The church as employer has the right to ask for results. It's the duty and delight of the church musician to produce results. It's also okay to ask other to provide what you need to be successful. These things come in many forms, such as: sermon topics far enough ahead to plan, a budget sufficient to support the work of the music program, work space, information, administrative support, etc. You can create a short list of the most important things needed in order to accomplish your goals. Go easy. Ask for the most important ones first and save the rest for another time. A long list can be overwhelming and might produce negative results.
How does a conductor of choirs and orchestras teach leadership? Very enthusiastically! Hugh Ballou teaches leaders around the globe how to build synergy with teams and how to put is place effective processes that bring success to any organization - no matter how big or small.
© 2012 Creator Magazine All Rights Reserved
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