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Why we cry out for creative leadership

“A Harvard Business School study looked at job satisfaction. Orchestra players came just below prison guards. Chamber musicians came in at number 1. What’s the difference? The presence of a conductor.”
Boston Philharmonic Conductor Ben Zander, speaking at Leaders in London 2007

Rosamund Zander, Benjamin’s wife, wrote: “There is no guiding institution that speaks compellingly to people. Markets have replaced institutions and markets do not speak in a human tongue. This radical shift cries out for creativity. Art is about rearranging us.”

The leader, according to Zander, is the one who is masterful at creating and holding distinctions. Learning and leading is not about the transference of information, from conductor to orchestra or leader to employee. It is about the opening up of new categories to help people make sense of and thrive in a fast-changing world in which existing categories are not creative enough. “Framemakers create new frames. There is no problem that can’t be solved if you are willing to make a new frame, a new category.”

More from Zander at the Leaders in London blog, which I write weekly.

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