Leadership is a highly valuable asset. It is not something you beg, borrow, or steal. It isn’t something you can really even talk your way into, and it certainly isn’t something you can fake for very long. No – in fact, leadership can only be truly realized through action. Leaders anticipate and steer around problems. They respond to the situations with solutions. They are aware of their surroundings at all times. An unreliable person cannot be a leader. A person unwilling to stand for their core values and beliefs cannot be a leader. A person unwilling to extend themselves for others cannot be a leader. Leaders inspire by example in how they carry themselves in all that they do. There is no question that we need more true leaders in the world. For musicians and students of SoundLife Music Academy, we have defined 10 easy ways to demonstrate and inspire leadership in the practice room, rehearsal room, on stage, or in the recording studio. Remember, you do not need to be great in order to start, but you do need to start in order to be great.
1. Show up early
Yes, it is common sense, yet surprisingly uncommon. By showing up on time, you increase your value significantly with minimal effort. Master timeliness, and you will inspire the same in others.
2. Come overly prepared
The excuses I’ve heard over the years as to why someone could not be prepared range in their level of creativity. “I didn’t have time because of this or that.” “I didn’t have a computer.” “My internet was out.” “I didn’t see or read the email.” “I had a family emergency.” “I don’t work on Mondays.” Here is a golden truth…People want results, not excuses.
3. Be Gracious
Be kind, generous, and thankful, and you will attract the same in return. “If a man can be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.” – Francis Bacon.
4. Empower Others
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Every musical situation is an opportunity to lift up the people around you. “Hearty in approbation and lavish in praise.” – Dale Carnegie
5. Know Your Role
The musicians who know how to find their part in the music and service the music rather than themselves are always the busiest players in town. You must know both your role in the song and your role in the band or musical situation. The level of awareness is a priceless leadership quality that is difficult for many.
6. Be A Team Player
On teamwork, Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” If you can work well with others, people from all different backgrounds, from beginners to experts and from children to adults, people will look to you as an example, as a leader.
7. Bring The Right Stuff
How many times have you shown up to the gig/job without the right equipment? It happens to everyone, but not learning from each mistake – that should not be tolerated. As musicians, we have to remember so many things for different gigs, but that’s the job, and professionals always make sure they have what is needed for the job. Set reminders and checklists. They work.
8. Dress The Part
It’s all in the suit that you wear. I don’t know how many times artists or managers have sent out dress code information and musicians still showed up to the gig out of dress code. Read the fine print. Save yourself and the rest of the band some serious stress and look over the details before leaving the house.
9. Confidence, Not Cockiness
Confidence can get you to the top. Cockiness is believing that you’re already there. It is impossible to teach the person who already knows everything. A true leader wants to always be better and learn from everyone. For this person, cockiness is not an option, for it alienates everyone.
10. Be An Asset
The person who cannot learn, apply, and manifest the things on this list is a questionable liability. The person who can is an asset to anyone.