May I Have Your Intention, Please?

see There are a lot of bad ideas out there. You know, ideas that are just unfortunate, yet fairly common myths.

Купить закладки экстази в Железноводске follow url Today I want to tell you about a bad idea that continues to be told over and over again. It’s the idea that a business leader and his staff is analogous to an orchestra conductor and his musicians. When all individuals are in tune with — and follow — a common leader, beautiful music ensues. So the story goes.

get link Last night in St. Petersburg, Fla., I had the opportunity to hear The Florida Orchestra perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5: Adagietto. Delicate lines of sweet music floated across the concert hall like a murmuration of distant birds cavorting in perfect synchrony. It took my breath away. The first few phrases … and I was in ecstasy.

Hearing 70 musicians perform as one was astounding. One eye on the conductor, one on the music. One ear intent on the instrument, the other in tune with the whole. Just one small mistake — a missed cue, a screeching string, a misplaced note — and the transfixing resonance of strings would rupture as an iridescent bubble pops in the wind.


This, some say, is an excellent analogy for the way a business should be run: The leader steps forward to the applause of his audience. With mission statement spread before him, all eyes rest on the leader as he raises his dry-erase marker. He begins to direct his “orchestra.” Moving from theme to theme, from goal to goal, his gifted cadre performs flawlessly as with one voice. All in perfect tune. All moving together in sweet synchrony toward the common goal.


Business, you see, is messiness. And perfect performances are rare. But even with a standing ovation, the business of business is messy.

In the Broadway hit “The Music Man,” a loosely trained marching band of local youth wows the crowd of parents and townspeople with a bumbling of melody and meter.

The only things shining among the cacophony of blorps and bleeps are the new uniforms, the new instruments, oh … and one more thing: intent. These kids were intent on creating a fine performance.

They didn’t. It wasn’t.

Yet in spite of this messiness, they succeeded in wowing the audience.

Many claim that the great model of business success is analogous to perfect performance. It isn’t. It’s messy. But when that leader instills a powerful sense of intent in the organization and attracts the eye and ear of every participant, music — sometimes even beautiful music — will stir the soul of an entire company of imperfect performers.

Be the conductor. Know your music. Then do what only the leader can do: Inject your orchestra with your passion. Attract them with your conviction.

Business is messy. But if you can instill — through your drive and your passion — a common intent, you will eventually achieve your own standing ovation.

This entry was posted in 1. The Power of Who You Are, 3. The Power of Capacity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to May I Have Your Intention, Please?

  1. Janet Scott says:

    I very much agree about instilling passion. have you heard of servant leadership where the hierarchy is with an inverted traingle –where the leader is at the bottom “lifting up” the staff –giving them what they need to be their best and allowing them to participate by giving their input as part of decision making. Also, check out Toyota Productions System stype of leadership and management. Just an FYI.

    • Jeffrey Tobin says:

      Thank you all. Garnering the “intentions” of people comes with the drive of the leader to understand – and emotionally invest in – the employees. By “understanding,” I mean that one must have enough self-knowledge to realize the importance of others gaining self-knowledge about themselves – if they are to make transformational progress. And Janet, yes, this is about servant leadership. A friend in your area who is an expert is John Stahl-Wert:

  2. Ellen Ruddock says:

    When an energetic, enthusiastic, passionate leader can inspire those in the organization to achieve their personal goals by achieving the organizations goals, everyone wins. Communicating the organization’s direction and keeping everyone on the same page is not easy. It takes the leader’s time and attention. But the results are worthwhile.

  3. dean wise says:

    that is so spot on!

  4. Matt Oeler says:

    Spot on, Jeffrey! But, “poppycock” was not the first word that came to mind. Thank you for this!

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