Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Leaders & Followers
Every one likes to think of themselves as a boss or leader. Well most of us have the concept totally backwards. We think that being a leader means that you get to call all of the shots and answer to no one. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I've noticed this more and more in our business, especially with musicians aka sidemen. A lot of sidemen are also leaders in their own situations. Let me tell you a secret about leaders and followers. In order to be a great leader, you must first be a great follower and you must also realize that being a leader really only means that you are in someone Else's service. Let me explain . . . President Obama is our leader but he was elected to SERVE to people of this country. He has to make decisions that are best for the country as a whole, not just what he may think is best. He is the leader but he basically works for the people. Just as in being a good sideman will only make you a better leader because leading is about service. If you can play the part of sideman and stay in your lane by always being prepared, on time and respectful of the leader and the organization's requests, then when you are in the leader's chair you will know how the best lead (serve) your team to get the best results. The main problem that exists is that leaders are born and not everyone that thinks they are a leader can really live up to the task. I've seen so many sidemen be disrespectful or even incompetent in a situation and think that they will have success as a leader because everything is always someone Else's fault and if they are in charge then it will all be better. (LOL). Again I say, leaders are born and they not only know how to lead but they know how to follow and this cycle never ends. For all young musicians that expire to ever lead their own group or situation, just work on being the best follower you can and if you find yourself in a situation that doesn't serve your best interest, just leave. Don't poison everyone else with your discontentment. Part of being a leader is being able to make hard decisions that are not always popular but effective. The key to being a good leader is knowing how to be a great follower. Enjoy the journey.
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