Ten Leadership Traits Learned from Jazz

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-17-2012
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Ten Leadership Traits Learned from Jazz 07

Base Hunches on Experience
This reduces risk, as opposed to taking random guesses to see what works.

It involves intense collaboration with other highly qualified professionals in pursuit of creation, and keen instincts for adaptability when the tempo changes. And the whole becomes something greater than a collection of parts. We're talking about the classic jazz and clever improvisation that defined masters such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis. CIOs could take a cue from these maestros in cultivating their own leadership skills. In the book, “Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz” (Harvard Business Review Press/available in August), author Frank Barrett draws intriguing connections between music and the business world. Barrett isn't endorsing an anything-goes philosophy; Instead, he contends that creativity matched with discipline can lead to successful invention and reinvention. Barrett is a business professor of management and global public policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. As an active jazz pianist, he has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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