A recent Microsoft study of more than 30,000 people across a wide variety of companies found that 41% of the employees are considering leaving their jobs. Is it possible to reverse this alarming trend? Benjamin Zander, founder and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, assures us it’s not only possible, the leadership method is teachable!
So what does an orchestra conductor know about managing unhappy employees? More than you might think. In a landmark Harvard study, orchestra musicians were found to be more dissatisfied with their jobs than even federal prison guards. Yet the musicians of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) report no such discontent. In fact, many credit Zander’s leadership with their continued happiness in their chosen careers. Zander says the difference comes down to one idea: “I’d been conducting for twenty years, and I suddenly had a realization: the conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound… He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. That changed everything for me.”
Zander calls his approach the “art of possibility,” and encourages leaders to adopt three governing habits.
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