What does it take to be a great leader? Is it personality, experience, being a good teacher, the ability to listen, embracing creativity and innovation, or some combination of all?
If you’ve ever attended a concert with a choral group or orchestra at centre stage, you’ve witnessed leadership in action. As practiced and accomplished as the musicians themselves may be, having a good conductor at the helm ensures harmony and a polished performance by keeping everyone on the same page and helping them reach their highest potential.
We can learn a lot about leadership by observing the arts in motion. On November 6, Dr. Ian Sutherland, leadership development expert and Vice-President (Grenfell Campus), pro tempore, Memorial University, will walk participants through how to lead creatively, using choral conducting as a metaphor.
Dr. Sutherland has offered versions of his acclaimed workshop “Creative Leadership” all around the world. This time, he’s bringing it to the School of Music at Memorial University, offering local participants new ideas and approaches they can apply to their own lives.
“In this workshop the real time practice of leadership is laid bare, allowing us to explore highly effective ways to lead high performing, creative teams,” Sutherland says.
Joining him for this creative leadership lab is Projēkt Chamber Voices, a St. John’s-based choral group dedicated to performances of a capella contemporary choral music. During the session, participants will have an opportunity to try their own hand at conducting, putting the lessons into practice while gaining deeper insight into how conductor and choir make beautiful music together.
“When Ian and I started daydreaming about bringing this workshop to Newfoundland, I knew Projēkt would be a great fit,” says Amy Henderson, Founding Director of the group.
“This is a group of leaders, including teachers, conductors, administrators and doctors, and they’re part of this group for the process, as much as for the outcome. So while the singers and I are excited to be ‘the instrument’ for this workshop, we are also keen to learn a lot from the experience ourselves. They’re also lovely, supportive, nonjudgmental people and I know the participants will find them great to work with.”
Whether you’re a business owner, a team leader or someone who works in the arts/creative industries, this in-depth and engaging workshop will help you view leadership in a whole new light.
“This workshop is all about leadership in action, the things that actually happen in real time when leaders and followers connect,” Sutherland says.
“Transformative, eye-opening, mind-shift – these are the kinds of things executives routinely say when they experience leadership in this workshop. The magic is in the immediate feedback loop of interacting through conducting with singers that are responding to your every move and decision – good or bad!”