During my senior year in high school, the school's music director selected me to be student conductor for the year. Student conductor – what a privilege! I would get to choose a piece of music for the entire band to practice and perform at an upcoming concert. Me! I was buzzing.
I had played the flute for eight years at that point, and was a true band nerd: flitting through scales in between classes, striding along with the marching band under glaring lights at football games, submerging myself in improvisational jazz until it poured out of my ears.
What I learned about leadership from being a high school band nerd:
This is my big kick right now. I'm convinced that if everyone practiced asking for what they need, interpersonal issues and workflow inefficiencies would evaporate.
But when difficulty arises, some people shut down and don't know where to start...or they bully toward what they need and alienate themselves in the process. (I'm sure you've seen both types.) In either case, you get caught up in self-limiting thoughts or become so paralyzed by emotion that you're stuck. So how can you deal?
One of my favorite sessions at TEDxSacramento's "This Changes Everything" was from Alexander Dervin. He's a visual producer who has worked on projects for Steven Spielberg and Kanye West.
I loved Alexander's simple reminders about the power and process of creativity. When it comes to creating something new, you have to start somewhere. You might start out small and imperfectly, but it's just the start you need to take the next unknown step toward your grand vision – an evolution.
If you were at the Community Center Theater on Friday and want to watch Alexander's Team F.OR.D. short again, here it is:
This past Friday, I got to attend TEDxSacramento, where "Sacramento's leading thinkers and doers [were] asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less centered around the topic of change."