Don´t lead, don´t follow

ON LINKEDIN THERE IS CONSTANT TALK ABOUT LEADERSHIP, ON FACEBOOK ABOUT FOLLOWING. LEAD AND FOLLOW, WHY ARE THESE THINGS SO IMPORTANT? OR ARE THEY?

I better understand the need to lead than to follow. If you are the head of a company or an orchestra conductor you need to lead.

I can also understand the impulse to follow — the pack if you are a wolf, a circle of good friends or kindred spirits going on a pilgrimage. (Let´s also mention the dictates of fashion.)

But what Facebook calls follow is not about joining a group of pilgrims with a common goal. It only means getting news about, perhaps spy upon, maybe even stalk.

Yes, sometimes I follow somebody on Twitter, lead a workshop or guide music tasting. But apart from that I want to be neither leader or follower. Just a mensch, trying to find and walk my path with heart.

That is why I neither follow nor can be followed on Facebook.

ornament5bCompanies hire orchestra conductors to hold workshops in leadership. As I see it a conductor is not so much a leader as an inspirer, a coordinator, telling the musicians how to conduct themselves in a certain piece of music.

Above all he creates unity in diversity, a shared interpretation of a symphony with perhaps hundred musicians of different ages, temperaments and shoe sizes.

But a CEO does the same, someone protests.

That may be, but what is the product of his company? Freedom or dependence? Another consumer article, app or gadget that “we cannot live without” — or a moment of serene, weightless freedom, perhaps even self-recognition when we see ourselves in the mirror of music?

A conductor is no CEO. He does not run a company. He writes beautiful words (in a strange language) in air!

toscanini

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