Leadership Lessons from Wynton Marsalis

Here are 15 lessons to help you become and stay a better leader from Wynton Marsalis.

1- THINK BIG, BUT DON’T BE IMPATIENT. Deferring the rewards of long-term success is difficult but necessary if you are going to have the mental fortitude to achieve them.

2. BE PERFECT IN INTENTION; YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT IN EXECUTION. Mistakes, by you and your staff, will happen.

3. YOU CAN ONLY DO THE BEST THAT YOU CAN DO. Keep your goals high, but don’t set yourself up for failure. Be patient.

4. DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR A MISTAKE. APOLOGIZE IF YOU DON’T PLAY. Knowing that effort is what matters gives people the courage to always try their hardest.

5. STAY INSIDE YOURSELF; WHEN YOU DO, YOU’LL TAKE A RISK-BUT YOU’LL MAKE AN INTELLIGENT DECISION. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

6. BELIEF IN OTHER PEOPLE’S CREATIVITY ALLOWS PEOPLE AROUND YOU TO BE THEMSELVES AND ACHIEVE THEIR INDIVIDUALITY. If your staff members have the freedom to achieve as individuals, the returns will be manifold.

7. APPROACH YOUR TASK VERY SERIOUSLY-BUT WITH HUMOR. Discipline should never come at the expense of closing one’s self to new ideas, and vice versa.

8. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS, AND MANY TIMES THEY ARE UGLY. It’s best to be very direct.

9. IT ISN’T MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY. Learn to compromise and be flexible.

10. WHEN YOU’RE A LEADER, SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW, TOO. Good leaders know they don’t have a monopoly on brilliant ideas. Be objective and willing to follow Insights you may have missed.

11. HUMILITY INSPIRES PEOPLE; ORGANIZATION INSPIRES A STAFF. Always try to give your staff clear plans and goals, but allow them room for self-empowerment.

12. RESPECT THE FREEDOM OF OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR CREATIVITY. JAZZ MUSIC TEACHES THAT ABOVE ALL ELSE. Giving your staff the freedom to improvise opens the floodgates on innovation.

13. YOU CAN’T LOOK AT ANY PERSON AND TELL WHETHER THEY CAN PLAY. ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE CAN PLAY. Some of the best talent can be found in the most unexpected places.

14. THERE IS A LIMIT TO WHAT YOU CAN DEMAND FROM SOMEBODY ELSE. Nothing erodes the spirit like a boss who can never be pleased.

15. BE FUNDAMENTALLY TRUTHFUL. Without truth, your success will unravel.

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from GottaGettaBLOG!, 12/2007

Image Source: diaporama.ladepeche.com

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~ by Barry Zweibel on January 17, 2010.

One Response to “Leadership Lessons from Wynton Marsalis”

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