Four Commonalities Between High Performance and An Orchestra

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Guardian Angel Cathedral in las Vegas. As I entered the church, the room filled with the uplifting music of a small orchestra.

The orchestra had 4 sections: choir, string , brass, and percussion. All lead by the conductor.

As I watched the performance by this talented group, I came to the realization the ensemble resembled all main components of a properly lead high performing organization.

The Structure
Visualize the 4 sections of the orchestra. What do you see?

There four teams. Each team with their own specialty, cultures, characteristics, tools, specialty, and leaders. Similar to an organization, each team is working towards a specific set of goals. Does this look familiar?

Execution Excellence
In order to create such a powerful experience, each team is committed to become a master of their craft. Each team member has their specific notes to play. Each individual and team focuses on playing their part to the best of their abilities. Does this look familiar?

A Common Purpose
The delivery of a master piece is only achieved with complete harmony among all teams. A harmony that is only possible when each team understands they are part of a greater mission.

The Conductor
Finally, it all starts and ends with the leader. The conductor sets the tone for the music, recruits the musicians, assigns the musical parts, explains the role of each team, and ultimately, guides all teams during the performance to achieve harmony.

The conductor may not be an expert in all musical instruments but plays the important role of creating an environment in which each person can give their best performance.

Can you see the similarities now?

If you want to learn more, check out Mark Miller’s upcoming book Chess Not Checkers




4 thoughts on “Four Commonalities Between High Performance and An Orchestra

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  1. “Execution Excellence” …I think there are many good analogies to this concept, a basketball/baseball/football team, wild dogs hunting in Africa via the Discovery channel 🙂 A group perfecting their parts of a common goal achieves an amplified sound or multiplier effect in benefits so to speak.

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