This month’s leadership quote:

“You never see a conductor play an instrument.”

Larry Steinhauer

The intended leadership lesson here is leaders need to do less and lead more. And, like everything else, it depends.

Sometimes the exact right thing to do is back off and let other folks lead. And sometimes, the right thing to do is get in the trenches and work side by side with your team, letting them know you get it, you care and you aren’t hanging out in your ivory tower. The conductor, after all, is right there in the pit with the orchestra.

I heard two stories recently that support each option. One of my Vistage CEO members shared a story of offering to brainstorm with a key executive; the executive politely replied, “I’ve got it”.

On the other hand, another member after sharing a story of frustration on the part of the team, due to staff shortages, heard fellow members suggest, “you are spending too much time in your office, get out there, participate, show them you know you get it and that you care.”

The secret is in knowing when to pick up an instrument, even if ever so briefly, and when not to.

Why Vistage Works

Elisa K. Spain

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