The High-Stakes Game of Orchestrating Leadership


As Founders and CEO’s of entrepreneurial, high-growth companies, my clients possess vision, intelligence, curiosity, industry and competitive knowledge, determination, drive, and grit.  What makes moving from a very small entity to building a first-level leadership team so difficult?

I like to use the analogy of an orchestra conductor.


The conductor has the overall vision of the composer; knows how the music should sound.  She also knows that her job is to make all the different sounds harmoniously.    A conductor isn’t expected to play the part of every instrument personally, although she has to know how those instruments conduct sound.  A conductor is supposed to help the different sections play well among themselves, and also to help the sections play well as a whole.  If sections can’t hear or listen to one another, the ultimate product, music quality, suffers.

So it is with organizations.  According to Steve Sims, Founder of Bluefish, “There’s a Password for Every Door.”  Bluefish is a company that creates extraordinary experiences for clients who imagine them.  In December 11th’s Leading Blog, he writes, “It’s not about how much you know. “I don’t need to know how to do the whole event,” says Sims. “The first thing I need to know is which things I can’t do. The next thing is to find those people who can do what I can’t. I just find the ones who are good enough at doing what I can’t to make me look brilliant.”

Entrepreneurs take note

You shouldn’t try to do everything, just “be able to magnificently orchestrate those who can.” You grow by giving others responsibility. “There’s a difference between being able to do everything and doing everything.”


Lead the orchestra. “All you want is to find a whole bunch of people with unique abilities, all with their own 5 percent traits or skill that no one else can do. That’s how you build up an irreplaceable team. A dream team.  Don’t spend time on things that slow you down.”

I help clients learn how to become the orchestra conductors in their organizations.   We have a proven process to help visionary leaders build and scale, including the critical task of attracting the right talent to the right role.

For leaders who wish to grow, this could be music to your ears!

To learn more about how you can develop this and other important leadership skills you might not yet know, I hope you’ll check out my new book, “Inner Switch:  7 Timeless Principles to Transform Modern Leadership.”  You can purchase it from your favorite online retailer at

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