It is fascinating to read this interview of Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, who was named one of America's Best Leaders in 2006 by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
His Tips :
• Everything in jazz and business starts with integrity. Listen to others. Respect them. Build trust.
• Groups who work together "swing." They believe "we" is more important than "me," and by doing so, absorb mistakes.
• You can be creative inside or outside of tradition. Inside, you reinvigorate. Outside, you counter-state.
• Creative people dare to be laughed at. They don't act like what they are. They be what they are.
• Embrace opposites. They are, in fact, the same.
I particularly liked this answer of his as well.
Q: What is "swing," and how can a business get it?
A: Swing is a rhythm, an era in American history, and it is a world view. In this world view, there is a belief in the power of a collective ability to absorb mediocre and poor decisions. When a group of people working together trust that all are concerned for the common good, then they continue to be in sync no matter what happens. That is swing. It's the feeling that our way is more important than my way. This philosophy extends to how to treat audiences, consumers, staff or dysfunctional families. This may seem idealistic, but think about how church congregations recite, nearly together and completely unrehearsed. They proceed by feel. Swing is the single objective. It is the core that makes us all want to work together.
Q: On stage, what's the difference between a leader and a follower?
A: Children are only responsible for themselves. As adults, we find ourselves responsible to and for more people, our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, our country, our world. Our ascension to a mature level of citizenship is directly related to the responsibility and size of things we choose to take on. In the arts, this ladder leads from your personal artistry to your art form, then on to all the arts and finally to humanity itself.
Also read this for a better perspective.