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Who keeps the beat?

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

The award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performs without a conductor, which seems like an argument against hierarchical leadership. But let’s examine some pros and cons.

On the positive side:
  • The orchestra’s creative spark is strong. Interpretive ideas arise from within the ranks, not from one person in charge.

  • People are more willing to assume leadership roles.

  • Individual talents bloom. Some members have learned so much from playing in Orpheus that they now conduct other ensembles on the side.

On the negative side:
  • The orchestra spends more time rehearsing than other groups.

  • It takes more time to hire new members, because most of the musicians become involved.

    Still, it often results in better hires.
—Adapted from “Why Employees Should Lead Themselves,” Jeffrey Pfeffer, Business 2.0.

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