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Here’s how to be the “maestro” of your organization

May 26, 2015

“I couldn’t have been more skeptical,” writes New York Times music critic James R. Oestreich about his experience watching conductor and longtime Linkage faculty member Roger Nierenberg explain organizational leadership principles with a full orchestra. “I couldn’t have been more wrong.”

“The conductor Roger Nierenberg took his Music Paradigm, an elaborate show-and-tell executive learning class based heavily on role playing, to the Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center recently for an audience of nursing directors from New York-Presbyterian Hospital. I had witnessed far too many slick, self-serving attempts to use musical pap as a tool for spiritual uplift or personal motivation, and Mr. Nierenberg, I thought, might as well have been selling snake oil.

“But no, I quickly realized, he was making real music and making good sense.

“’An orchestra is a great place to model organizational dysfunction,’ he said at the outset without apparent irony.

“Mr. Nierenberg, 67, had with him 26 string players, mostly from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, who took seats front and center, surrounded by the nurses, but stood when they performed. He had rehearsed the players straightforwardly in Samuel Barber’s soulful ‘Adagio for Strings’ for an hour beforehand, but he had not prepared them in any other way for the unscripted event about to unfold.

“Now, he continued to rehearse them in public, running through snippets and discussing those with players and audience alike, drawing lessons in leadership from the work of the conductor and the interactions of the players.”

Continue reading.

We love this story because it’s not just about the leadership lessons that Nierenberg’s Music Paradigm teaches. It’s about beautiful music too. And if Nierenberg’s orchestra can impress a skeptical New York Times music critic, imagine the impact he and his orchestra could have on you and your leadership team. And you can experience the transformational power of Nierenberg’s orchestra for yourself at the Global Institute for Leadership Development® in Palm Desert, California, this fall.


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