Leadership Lessons From A World Class Orchestra Conductor

I was watching an orchestral concert led by conductor Andre Rieu. It was quite a production, both musically and visually. Watching this and enjoying the entire experience, it suddenly occurred to me that here was a well-organized and effective team in action, with multiple competent people and multiple instruments coordinated and acting as one – like a precision watch – to achieve a desired end result that people like and want.

Then I thought how amazing it would be to have a business organization be as effective and skilled as a team as that or any other orchestra.

I realized that this conductor created this teamwork, and is both a musician and CEO of his own group. This is true of all world-class conductors; they are perfect examples of excellent leadership we can all learn from. A world-class conductor is the type of leader that is the power, the driving force behind his or her group’s success. Orchestra leaders focus all the power and imagination of their people and instruments toward accomplishing the purpose of the orchestra.

What leadership qualities and abilities does a conductor have?

  • The world-class orchestra conductor is an artist and expert musician, so he or she commands respect and admiration by virtue of his or her technical expertise.
  • The world-class orchestra leader has a clear, strong purpose and vision regarding the quality of music he or she intends to create.
  • He or she understands each and every instrument and sound understands how each instrument and sound contributes to the musical end result and understands how to blend all those instruments into a beautiful, musical masterpiece.
  • He or she takes each musician and instrument, and coordinates and directs them into a coordinated, united team that together act as one to create a rich, harmonious and pleasing musical end result that audiences love.
  • The world-class orchestra leader must manage many individual musicians, each of whom brings his or her own goals, skills, opinions, personalities and temperaments;
  • He or she communicates well with each musician so as to keep everyone focused on the desired vision and musical end results.
  • The world-class orchestra conductor knows how to inspire the musicians to reach for and attain their very best;
  • He or she makes the difficult decisions as needed for the good of the whole orchestra and the musical end results. Such hard decisions include: which musicians to bring into the orchestra; letting go of any musician not pulling his or her weight; when and how long to practice, and so on. Such a conductor doesn’t care what others think of his or her decisions as long as he or she achieves the desired end results.
  • The world-class orchestra conductor demands that a high standard be followed. Such a conductor then drives, pushes, rehearses and inspires his or her musicians to perform their very best.
  • The world-class orchestra conductor’s primary purpose and intention is to create the very best orchestra and music that cause audiences to beat down the door to his or her music hall.
  • He or she works hard and persists until he or she achieves the vision and goal.
  • The world-class orchestra leader blends the people and instruments into an aesthetic, desired, and universally-acclaimed musical masterpiece.

Looking over all these points, we see that these are the very qualities and skills any business owner or executive needs to be successful. This list could even be a checklist for any executive, to make his or her group even more successful and prosperous.

It all starts with a purpose and a vision. An executive must have a clear and exact vision and end result he or she wants to create. Everything starts with this; without a clear purpose, vision and end result properly communicated, nothing much happens.

The way to achieve your business goals is to become a good, competent and effective leader. Fortunately, the skills, abilities, and qualities of a competent, successful owner and manager can be learned and learned easily. Our company, KLH Growth Strategies, delivers a World Class Leadership Boot Camp that transforms people into exceptional leaders and executives.

A truly competent, dynamic leader can lead any group toward its goals, regardless of the environment, the group is in, even in a bad economy.


Joe Kerner
Joe Kerner
Joe Kerner has been a business owner and management consultant for 30 years. He has worked with hundreds of businesses, business owners and executives, spanning several industries and professions. He is a recognized expert in such areas as leadership, management, organizational development, efficiency, personnel development and training, sales training and business planning. He has helped his client business increase their profitability, growth, efficiency, and productivity. He has consulted and coached businesses in such industries as health care, software development, biotech, construction, financial services, scientific instrument firms, systems analysis, travel, hospitals, and insurance. Joe is also an accomplished speaker and has delivered over 1,100 seminars and workshops covering such areas as leadership and management, operations, personnel development, and efficiency. In 1998, Joe was a co-founder of a very successful health care group in Virginia and North Carolina. He served as Vice President of Operations and managed the entire group. Under his leadership, this group increased revenue by 300-400% within three years. This group was sold for a high profit in 2013. Joe holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He has also completed an extensive and rigorous management training program, the Organization Executive Course. This is an intensive 2,000-hour curriculum covering the fundamental principles, technology and advanced systems of management, leadership, organization, executive training, personnel development and management, management tools, marketing, and sales.

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