Some argue that jazz is one of the most intellectually challenging genres of music. The need for technical skills, rapid response to change and ability to improvise are similar to traits of great leaders.

Tune in for a “slightly” biased take on jazz and leadership.

Great leaders are jazz musicians, not classical! 
  • Classical musicians focus on the ability to reperform a written script exactly the way the composer intended
  • Minimal room for change
  • Each note is pre-written, carefully planned, calculated
Jazz musicians
  • Take all the technical skills and knowledge from classical training, then compose and perform simultaneously.
  • Pay even more attention to the team and the audience, because everyone is part of the solution.
  • Read and respond quickly. No time to complain because the beat doesn’t stop for you to whine.
  • Willingness to try again, and again, each time trying to execute the same idea more effectively or creating a variation that works better in the moment.
  • Ability to get lost in the changes and still recover collectively.
  • Respect the form.
  • Sensitive to nuance and style.
  • Appreciate dissonance and harmony. Tension and release. Seeing these as part of the experience, not good or bad.
  • Balance of head and heart
Note: While classical musicians exhibit some of these traits as well, they are the very heart of jazz genre and crucial to executing good improvisation.
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