Shining eyes

February 28, 2010 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Here’s another great video I’ve been watching. Although I’ve seen it many times, a friend reminded me of it the other day so I watched it again. Since I received a few emails and comments about the video on what makes humans unique, I thought I’d share this one with you too as it’s such an inspiration, with great flashes of humour. It’s Benjamin Zander, the British conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and if you’re a knowledge management practitioner, you’ll immediately recognise the notions of expertise and practice Zander talks about.

From a leadership perspective, I love how Zander says:

“It is one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he is leading to realise whatever he is dreaming“.

And did you know that no-one is tone deaf? If you were tone deaf, Zander says, you could not distinguish between an accent from Texas or Rome.

There are some great take-aways:

  • Stop thinking about every single note along the way and start thinking about the long long line.
  • The Conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make sound. He depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful…my job is to awaken possibility in other people.
  • You look at people’s eyes and if the eyes are shining you know you are doing the job of awakening the possibility in people.
  • If the eyes are not shining, the question is: who am I being that my players’ eyes are not shining?
  • Who are we being as we go back out into the world?
  • His definition of success: it’s not about wealth, fame and power. It’s about how many shining eyes I have around me.
  • It really makes a difference what we say: the words that come out of our mouth.

Be prepared to shed a tear or two when he plays the full Chopin piece. Even if you’re not a lover of classical music, I think you’ll enjoy this video.


Entry filed under: Leadership, TED video. Tags: .

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