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.
Last month I shared tips for avoiding managing conflict. Creating a high performance team from low functioning committees will help prevent some of the conflict I discussed last month. This month, it's about getting the right team in place.
5 Tips for Recruiting Team Members
Before I share recruiting strategies, let's address some common questions...
What is the difference between a team and a committee?
What is the difference between an ensemble and a group of singers? Enough said!
What if I already have a team and don't need to recruit more people?
Yes, that might be the case now, but people rotate off of committees. You will have an opportunity to build the culture that is effective creating a high performance team that functions like an ensemble. Even if you are starting from scratch, it will take some time to build the culture that will produce excellence in execution. Nonmusical excellence in execution amplifies the music excellence.
Why is it important to recruit the right people for teams?
Build ensemble like in choirs, only they don't sing. They do, however function as a unit with synergy and work through consensus. There is no compromise in musical excellence. You either have the matching vowel and pitch or you don't. Your high performance team will listen to each other, breathe together, sense the nuances, and be responsible for their own stuff. Singers are responsible for producing what they see on the page. You are responsible for shaping the ensemble. The team is responsible for the action items - the deliverables - and you shape the process. There's not much difference. You inspire excellence or you enable mediocrity. You get to choose.
5 Tips for Recruiting Team Members
•Intentionally Create Balance and Diversity
Diversity is certainly a buzz word. What does diversity mean anyway? I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia during the time Martin Luther King was leading the charge for equality. I did not realize until just recently (40 years later) how much influence his intentional, focused, nonviolent leadership style influenced me. He had a dream. His vision was equality for black and white Americans. His leadership made things happen. Black and white people coming together is diversity.
One journey in the church has been for inclusive language because we have gender diversity. It's very important to consider these perspectives.
I worked for 2 years with the World Choir Games producer in Germany, INTERKULTUR. They bring 100 cultures together to compete in 30 musical categories. They bring a rich diversity in culture and tradition to choral music. This is diversity!
What's your definition of diversity? Here are some factors to consider:
Personality type (detailed or visionary, for example)
When you create diversity, you energize dialogue. In the next months, I will be providing some systems to consider to reframe conflict and disagreement from weapons into creative tools.
Create diversity, then figure out how to supercharge the team for powerful results.
: It's more like an orchestra than a choir: shape, size, tambre, transposing, loud, delicate, etc...
•Look for Compatibility
You want creative energy, not destructive forces.
Define the culture of engagement and then recruit for that culture. It's harmonious engagement with creative collaboration.
It's like choir, except there's no singing.
: Don't recruit friends and family… Or your ex-spouse… Or the church grouch…Or the church antagonist.
•Look for Contrasting Skills and Experience
I gave you some ideas for diversity, now look at skills. Make a list of skills needed on the team and find people who match the skills you need. Don't recruit people you like. Recruit people who have skills whom you like. The goal here is to surround yourself with people more competent than yourself in other skill areas. You hold the vision. They make it work.
Here is a template to help you think about skills and people:
Team Resource List
etc. up to 20
The routine - List all the skills needed (writing, financial, networking, administrative, etc) in the first column. Make a long list ( up to 20). Think of every possible skill needed. Then list people to consider. Go down the list of people and place a skill number beside each name (some will have several numbers). Check off each skill as you go. Reflect on the list of names and prioritize the list by qualifications and skill match. Recruit the best people.
By the way, the more people on the team, the harder it will be to make decisions. Ten is a great size for teams.
: Never have lunch alone. Eat with people to build and maintain relationships.
•Look for People who Fill in the Gaps
You are good at some things. You are not good at everything. A primary leadership skill is delegation. Leadership is about defining your gaps and finding people to fill those gaps. This is a strength of leadership and not a weakness as poor leaders thing.
: If it's not your gift - delegate it.
•Recruit Those Who Make A Commitment
We think that people are doing us a favor by agreeing to participate in a committee, so we minimize the offer, such as, "It really doesn't require much work." Well, they know that you are lying - and you are. So, why not just tell the truth. Say what's required and what their participation is important.
Here's the key: any response that's not a "Yes" means that you pass on their participation. In the past, I begged people to be on committees by promising little effort was required. They needed to be persuaded. They came. They did not follow through. I was upset with them. I now realize that I created the problem. They tried to tell me they were not interested and I didn't get it. It you take a "maybe" for an answer and they join the committee and then under function, then who is to blame. Clue: it's not them.
: If you are not getting recruits, then look in the mirror.
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. Click here to get Hugh's eBook, Creating Healthy Teams
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