Leadership Lessons From Jazz Musicians

Freddie Hubbard Rochester N.Y. 1976
Freddie Hubbard Rochester N.Y. 1976

From Inc.:

Just as you’d learn a great deal from a trusted advisor, so too can non-traditional sources help you to expand your knowledge base. Jazz musicians are agile and dynamic, carrying their group’s song and themes through the diversified landscape to the end. Quite frankly, I don’t know anyone better to provide leadership advice than a professional jazz player for this very reason. Here are some powerful takeaways I’ve picked up along the way from incredible musician leaders–let these lessons shine at your business, and your cube will get a lot swankier.

1. Playing it safe gets you tossed off the stage. Some executives would say that in today’s turbulent economy, takings risks isn’t wise. If you don’t take risks you’ll never excel. Playing it safe all the time becomes the most dangerous move of all.

2. There are no do-overs in live performances. For every hour in a “performance” setting, you should spend five hours practicing. Athletes do this, musicians do this–muscle memory is no different in the board room, in front of a new client, or with your team. So why aren’t you doing this?

3. Listening to those around you is three times more important than what you play yourself. If you’re the one talking all the time, you’re not learning anything. Listen, absorb what you hear, and use the information to make a conscious choice about whatever you’re facing.

Read the rest of the story on Inc.