A few weeks ago, I wrote about professionalism and what it means. I would like to continue that topic with a short discussion about how leadership should be more service-oriented within a band.
Service-oriented? What does this mean? It’s very simple actually. Imagine a waiter in a restaurant. They deliver everything to you and check back continually to see if you need anything. Oddly enough, this isn’t too different from being a musical director. Yes, you direct and orchestrate the music. However, your job is to write/deliver charts, converse with band members on musical issues, and ultimately make sure your band has everything they need (musically speaking) to ready the end-product. When handled correctly, this position is not so much about directing as it is about tending to the band’s musical needs.
A musical director friend/mentor once told me that he asked the vocalists in his band: What can I do to help you? This simple question has stuck with me and has helped to shape my perspective on the various leadership positions within a band. When you look at your band mates as people to assist versus people to direct, the vibe can change drastically. Keep in mind that every situation is different and will require different skills depending on the type of people you are working with. Some people require more direction and others require less. Dynamic leadership is absolutely crucial to being successful. But regardless of situation, if you keep your perspective centered on service to your band mates, the payoffs are incredible.
How do you view leadership positions within a band?