This morning, the Summer Sanctuary Choir at University Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia presented a program of the music of John Ness Beck. During the course of preparation for this program, it occurred to me that music and leadership have in common the requirement of a high level of commitment and dedication.
It doesn’t matter whether the music in question is choral or instrumental, worship or performance; the fact of the matter is that in order to perform it well requires many hours of hard work beforehand. Lacking adequate preparation and commitment to excellence, the final performance is doomed to mediocrity. The director must spend countless hours listening to music and reviewing scores to determine what the music will be a part of the program. Following this lengthy preparation, the musicians themselves must spend hours reading and learning the music. This is a necessary prerequisite to shaping the music in accord with the director’s interpretation. Finally, each individual musician must commit to the director’s vision so that the final performance will be a work of art and not simply more noise on the landscape.
The same is true of leadership in any organization, whether it be volunteer, business, or strictly social. In order for organized activity to take place, the leader of the organization needs to have a vision of where he wants to take the group. Then, in order to produce quality results, whether a project, event, or product, the leader needs to spend countless hours in planning and preparation. Under his/her guidance, the members of the organization or team execute their assigned role and the result is a quality event or product. When this takes place, there is value to the members or customers of the organization.