Maestro. Lead by Listening.

Roger Nierenberg's book, Maestro.

As the creator of The Music Paradigm, a unique program that invites executives to sit inside an orchestra rehearsal, renowned conductor Roger Nierenberg has shown thousands of people how to "lead by listening," improve teamwork, and draw out any organization's full potential.

Now, in Maestro, he draws on his real-life experiences to tell the story of a struggling executive who finds an unlikely source of wisdom and inspiration - the interplay between a symphony orchestra and its conductor.

The executive faces the daunting challenge of turning around a struggling division with a deeply divided, bickering team. Puzzled by his failure to establish a new vision, he gets into a conversation with a musician, who invites him to sit in on a series of orchestra rehearsals.

Before long, the narrator realizes that most of his assumptions about leadership are wrong, and learns why a true maestro is so effective. For instance:

- A maestro doesn't micromanage. Instead of demanding mindless obedience, he communicates a larger vision, inviting people to draw upon the full range of their talents.

- A maestro enables people to feel ownership of the whole piece, not just their individual parts.

- A maestro leads by listening. When people sense an open and receptive ear, they offer more of their full potential. If not, they get defensive and hold back on their best ideas.

As the conductor says, "Eventually I realized that a great performance would happen only when the motivation sprang as much from them as from me. I learned to see my job as simply creating an environment where that could happen. Once I learned to engage their artistry, everything felt so much easier."

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