Leadership Is Like A Good Music -By Omotunde Davies

Filed under: Democracy & Governance |

Omotunde Davies


Though I am not a good singer but my soul enjoys the best of music when I decide to listen to one. Music is all-consuming. Our reaction to a great song can be so visceral that we are forever connected to it. Hearing that song can bring you back to a moment in time, and often, it binds you to a person or group; every time you hear it, you are there with them again, reliving a wonderful moment. For me, my soul is presently connected to three songs titled: The Old-Time Way, The Old-Time Religion, and Since Jesus Has Set Me Free. Anytime I hear those songs, I literarily jump up and start singing, clapping my hands and dancing with unlimited joy in my heart; the kind of joy that I love experiencing. I can’t even remember the number of times I sing them daily. I was once invited to take part in the brainstorming section of the R&D Team of a firm and at a point, I was singing those songs in my mind till I got carried away and started singing out loud, to the extent that I drew the attention of everyone in the room and someone had to call my attention to it. That is what good music does, it’s all consuming. And so is Great Leadership. This is something every leader aspires to do with those around them as well: to inspire and move people like great music does.

My love for those three songs inspires me so much that one night, while preparing my slide for a presentation on Leadership, I began comparing leadership and music. After hours of careful thinking and rumination, I came up with what I call: The Five Lessons Every Leader Must Learn from Good Music. The five lessons are thus:

  1. Great leaders Speak To Inspire

Good music inspires and captures the heart and soul of the listener; it can be very enchanting and entrapping. That is exactly what great leaders do with their words. There are three types of speakers: Those that people don’t listen to, those that people try to listen to, and those that people can’t but listen to. Great speakers are those that people can’t but listen to because they speak to touch hearts and souls of men. Great leaders are kinesthetic speakers who use their words to arose the right feelings and emotions in their listeners. People don’t really listen unless there is an emotional impact that causes them never to forget. As a leader, you have to touch people’s hearts as well as their heads. What you say, the lyrics, must tell a meaningful story — and the way you tell that story, the music, must resonate in the heart and soul of the listener.

  1. A Good Leader Ensures That His People Are One The Same Page

To have a good music, the keyboardist, the guitarist, the drummers, and the singer must know why they are playing and what their role is. The same is necessary in leadership. As a leader, each member of your team needs to be on the same page – they must know the vision and mission statement of the team, know what the responsibility of each member of the team is and must be assigned a responsibility that allows them put their strength to use. And that page must be seen, understood and emotionally absorbed.

  1. A Great Leader Knows How To Get The Right People In His Team

I have watched great musical concerts both live and on TV and one thing I noticed is that the music coordinators know who to assign what role in the group. A good music coordinator will not let a base singer perform the role of a tenor singer, neither will he ask a guitarist to perform the role of a saxophonist. So it is in leadership. A great leader must define the result he wants to achieve with his team and then select the right people to help him achieve that result. Every team has tough moments. As a leader, you want people working with you whom you can count on when the tough moments come. Make sure you chose character and attitude over skill. Trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole is a recipe for disaster.

  1. A Great Leader Allows His Team To Shine

Great music coordinators are always invisible once the performance kicks off. A great music coordinator assembles his team, assign them roles and responsibilities, and then takes the back seat to allow his team shine. The focus is on the music, not on them. It is the same in a leadership. The focus should be on the team and not the leader. A great leader does not seek glory at the expense of his team. A great leader determines the result he wants his team to achieve, select the best people that can achieve that result, and then takes the back seat to allow every member of his team to shine when it is time for reward and glory. A great leader acknowledges the work of every member of the team and praise them for their effort. To quote Nelson Mandela: “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the frontline when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

  1. A Good Leader Cultivates Commitment and Enthusiasm; They’re Contagious.

As a good music reaches into your heart, you began nodding your head, clapping your hands, dancing, and even singing along with the singer. Why is this? It is because you have been infected with the enthusiasm and commitment displayed by the singer. The same applies to leadership. People will be willing to follow a leader who displays unwavering commitment and enthusiasm to a course. Great leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and my very own William Branham, are not just been followed because of the words they speak, but because of their commitment and enthusiasm, and their ability to walk their talk.

Music is a powerful tool which when properly channeled, can achieve great results in the life of the listeners. So also is leadership. The key to understanding the music of leadership is to understand that good leaders know how to manage emotions as well as direction, and are in tune with those around them.

My question to you is:  How does your music of leadership sound in the ears of your listeners?

Do have yourself a wonderful and productive day. I love you all.

Omotunde Davies.