Thinking in Jazz about Leadership Qualities
Singer Karin Plato spent the evening of International Jazz Day (April 30) at Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club. She was listening to Bill Coon on guitar, Jodi Proznick on bass, and Jesse Cahill on drums.
Their performance inspired Karin to write this description of great jazz on Facebook:
[It is] energized, grooving, exploratory, improvisatory, interpretive, interactive, and soulful, combining the 'creating in the moment' and the responding to each other, i.e. musical conversation with the end result being surprise and satisfaction and elation to us, the listeners.
Imagine the kind of surprise, satisfaction, and elation you might generate among your colleagues if your leadership conversations sounded like this.
- You would bring a positive, infectious energy into the conversation that invited people to enter into the music with their whole beings.
- You would establish a groove - a rhythmic melody line - into which others could enter and to which they could contribute.
- You would be open to exploring new potential, inviting a wide range of options for enjoyment and consideration.
- You would be composing ideas and possibilities spontaneously to realize that potential.
- You would be finding new meaning and significance in ideas, old and new, that would enrich the project and its purpose.
- You would be doing all of this in collaboration with others whom you had invited into the conversation.
- You would be engaged in these relationships from a place deep within you being, from your soul, from which the complex process of creating soulful community is constantly emerging.
This is not something that you have to make happen. It is, in fact, already happening, every time you open your mouth to converse. You simply have to pay attention to the positive ways in which you can hone what's happening so that it generates the surprise, satisfaction, and elation that delights colleagues.
And there is nothing particular soft about managing your voice this way. It's about the hard work of connecting in order to create communities that will accomplish something worthwhile. That's the foundation of any kind of flourishing human life, be it within yourself, with your family, among your colleagues at work, or in other organizations that generate social benefit.
Karin's words beautifully evoke the power of great jazz. I hope they might also evoke the power of SMARTer conversations for you.
And if you think Jazzthink might offer some coaching, or a keynote or workshop, to help you generate these kinds of SMARTer conversations, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.