What is it that makes you passionate and motivated? For conductor Benjamin Zander, it’s classical music – and as a leader, he works to help his musicians catch the vision.
“It’s one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming,” Zander told the audience at TED in 2008.
As a musician matures, he or she learns to play with passion and engagement – and their impulses are reduced as they focus on the entire piece instead of notes. Likewise, as a leader, our focus should be on the long line of the vision.
Zander had a leadership revelation the moment he realized that he, as the conductor, doesn’t make a sound. Rather, all of the conductor’s power is in making his players powerful, helping them to carry out his vision.
“I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people,” he said. “If their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it. If the eyes are not shining, you have to ask the question: ‘Who am I being that my players’ eyes aren’t shining?’ That’s a totally different world.”
Successful leadership is not about wealth or fame or power. It’s about shining eyes. Share your passion with colleagues and employees, and as that enthusiasm and sincere drive shines through, they will catch the vision and help your dream become reality.