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.
Previously I shared tips for recruiting a balanced and effective team. Last time I shared tips for getting the best people to say yes. This time, it's about a team covenant.
Turn Your Committee into a High Performance Team
We all know how committees work. Well, we might also have different opinions on how the committee should work, so from the beginning we have the potential for conflict.
In order to transform a committee (or board or staff) into a high performance team, we must create alignment. This is somewhat like teaching a choir to be an ensemble. The process takes time and intentionality. There are principles for behaviors in choirs. There is a protocol and process in what we do in building ensemble, making music, and creating harmony.
We cannot expect people to show up and know how it is supposed to work. One tool for getting there is developing a team covenant. As members of the Christian church, we know the word covenant. We may not, however, have any experience with how one works. Especially when it comes to group process.
It is normal to convene the meeting and just go to work. We believe that time is precious and we do not have any to waste on things that are not essential. Remember that leadership, like directing and ministry, are all dependent on relationships. The by product of using the process of developing and using a team covenant is that relationships are strengthened thought the process. The major benefit, however is the minimization of conflict.
We are sidetracked by conflict, unclear goals, no accountability systems, and lack of purpose. Therefore, we cannot be as effective in getting things done. If we tried to run a choir rehearsal, without these elements, we would never be able to learn the music.
Individual singers gather. We, as director transform the individual singers into a choir. As we proceed in learning the music and sing together for a time, we transform the choir into an ensemble. We provide the context for building community in the rehearsal. We set the stage for high performance standards.
It is no different when we lead non musical groups - committees, boards, staff, focus groups or project teams. We are building community in an intentional process similar to building an ensemble.
5 Transformational Steps
1. Recruit the Best
: Click here to read more about this.
2. Define the Purpose
: It is amazing how many committees do not have a purpose statement. Define the purpose of the committee and make it sound interesting, even compelling.
3. Develop a Team Covenant
: Have the committee define ways that teams create conflict, waste time, and under function. Have each person create an "I promise...." statement. Ask them to define their role in creating the best functioning team. They begin each statement with "I promise..." Give them a month to think about everyone's statement and promise to take this exercise forward at the next meeting. I will provide the next steps in the process next time.
4. Develop a Team Action Plan
: Create the goals for the team. Read more about how to do that here.
5. Evaluate, Revise, and Recommit
: It's not done. It's never 'done.' Consider this a process and not an event. You never stop rehearsing. You never stop performing. Get the group to commit to this ongoing process. Evaluate the process, the skills, and the results. Establish a culture of seeking the best answer and the best process, which is like making corrections in rehearsal - it's not about blame.
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. Hugh Ballou's book, Moving Spirits, Building Lives: Church Musician as Transformational Leader has more information on recruiting and empowering volunteers as members in ministry. Click here to get this book
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