December 2010 | Volume 4, Issue #6      

In This Issue
Jazz Quote of the Month
Enjoy Our First Jazzthink Jam
Jazz Vespers at Christmas
Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club
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Dear Brian ,   

Jim Kouzes and Barry PosnerMy favourite leadership students are at it again.  Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, have written a new book digging further into the dynamics of exemplary leadership that achieves extraordinary team results.  The new book is called The Truth About Leadership (2010).  Here are the 10 truths they have discovered about leading productive teams:


  1. You make a difference.  You have to believe that you can have a positive influence in improving things.
  2. Credibility is the foundation of leadership.  People have to believe in you in order to follow you.
  3. Values drive commitment.  People want to know what you stand for and believe in.
  4. Focusing on the future sets leaders apart.  Your capacity to imagine and articulate exciting possibilities is crucial.
  5. You can't do it alone.  Leadership is a team process and you need to engage others in the cause and serve their best.
  6. Trust rules.  Trust is the social glue that holds teams together.  You have to give trust before you get it.
  7. Challenge is the crucible for greatness.  Meeting the challenges of change introduces you to yourself and helps you find your authentic core from which to inspire and influence others.
  8. You either lead by example or you don't lead at all.  You have to walk the talk.
  9. The best leaders are the best learners.  You are a constant improvement fanatic.  That takes time, attention, practice, feedback, and the willingness to be coached.
  10. Leadership is an affair of the heart.  You make other feel important and appreciated.  In a word, you love them and their potential from the depths of your heart. 


What I particularly respect about this book is the broad base of research upon which it is based - data from over 1 million assessments.  Not only does this new core chart for great team leadership ring true from my coaching and teaching experience, but it arises from the wisdom of over 1 million practitioners of the art of team leadership.


As we approach our respective seasons of gifts and giving, what difference would you be able to make in 2011 if you provided gifted leadership in your teams that was guided by these truths?  I'm ready to take up that leadership challenge with the various teams I'm part of and I hope you will join me.  It happens, as I keep saying, one conversation after another.  You can become part of the REAL SMART Teamwork™ movement the next time you convene a conversation.


Riches blessings for your holiday season and may you find fresh meaning to inspire your teamwork.




Jazz Quote of the Month


Adrain Cho, a Ottawa-based software developer with IBM and a jazz musician, is yet another person who is taking the wisdom and workings of jazz and applying it brilliantly to organizational life.  His recent book, The Jazz Process: Collaboration, Innovation, and Agility, is written around 14 fundamental principles organized into 4 groupings - working, collaborating, executing, and innovating.


Adrian ChoJazz musicians, as Cho sees it, don't simply present a prepared product, but they continuously create the product as they confront the challenges of the performance in the moment.


Each jazz performance must be unique and innovative, and because the creative process occurs in real time, the musicians must constantly adpat to unpredicatable changes.  Even if they have never worked together, a group of skilled jazz musicians can collectively face these challenges and go on to deliver one great performance after another.  As in any multidisciplined team, they do this by collectively integrating strong individual contributions from passionate and committed practitioners.  In addition, they overcome thier unique challenges and ensure success by employing best principles such as passionately commiting themselves to the task at hand, following a set of simple rules that affords them autonomy but ensures that the music making does not simply degenerate into chaotic noise, acting transparently at all times, constantly listening and communicating, and taking measured risks.


This is yet another intricately crafted core chart for truly productive teamwork inspired by the workings and wisdom of jazz.  The whole book is worth a careful read, especially the chapter on taking measured risks.


Appreciation for our 1st Jazzthink Jam

"Brian Fraser and the Jazzthink Trio unlock the mystery of improvisational music and successful team work with polish, professionalism and pizzazz. His workshop is a great way to help new teams and can breathe fire into already existing ones.  It was useful and lots of fun."


                                                                  Roxanne Davies
Ideas Without Borders



"This was an excellent evening.  We explored all the things a band and its leader have to do in order to be organized, have fun, and create a great performance.  As chair of a nonprofit board, and as a Financial Advisor, I picked up some great ideas on the basics of running a meeting, having a clear agenda, cultivating team buy-in, and allowing for enough risk and mistakes to actually grow. The presentation that Jazzthink makes using jazzas a model ofteamwork and the conversations through which organizations work was well worth the price of admission."


                                           Jim Evans

Workplace Centre



"I liked how the trio brought 'alive', through their experiences with jazz, the concepts about how conversations build or destroy teams that were presented by Brian and discussed by the group."


                                                               Gloria Mcarter

Counsellor and Family Therapist




Enjoy Great Jazz in Vancouver

The Cellar 

For information on October's schedule and reservations, click here.