Why is transparency within the realm of all types of communication—friend-friend, parent-child, husband-wife, manager-employee—so consistently elusive? Why must the ego so quickly approach the greasy fast-fed drive-thru that values expediency and quick profit over healthy dialogue? Why do so many start with perfection as the baseline, from which there is no room to breathe?
Our blog is dedicated to facilitating the dialogue about social change and trends. Each entry, written by leaders and scholars on a diverse range of subjects, addresses the ways in which we function as both dreamers and doers—and our interconnectedness as a society.
The applications for the first National Youth Orchestra of China are in and the selected members of the orchestra have been notified! These one hundred young musicians will soon embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they work with the world’s best musicians, perform in Carnegie Hall and across China, and make history. The quality and diversity of the applicant pool serves as enthusiastic evidence of how rapidly classical music is currently developing in China.
No job is filled with creativity and stimulation 100% of the time. And yet we’re all born with passions that should be fully explored in the search for fulfilling careers. They’re out there; are you rushing to find them? Do you squeeze the most juice from each day? Maybe you love the outdoors; choose one of countless jobs that has you experiencing sunlight over fluorescent lights, breathing natural air rather than that from filtered air conditioning. Maybe you love food; choose one of equally countless jobs that has you preparing, cooking, creating, serving, owning. Do you get the idea? Choose!
The current classical-music scene in China is replete with astounding superstar soloists. From National Youth Orchestra of China soloist Yuja Wang and beyond, each year reveals a new crop of incredibly talented instrumentalists from China poised to take center stage. Yet many musicians ultimately find their calling playing among talented peers in an ensemble setting, whether in a professional orchestra or a chamber group. NYO-China aims to inspire in young Chinese musicians a love of ensemble playing.
How easy to take for granted…
…the hundreds of thousands of people—men and women with lives, loves and labors—are responsible for that cardboard carton carrying everything from beer and books to papers and paraphernalia.
My leadership clients, including those in nonprofit, often ask for advice regarding stress, expressing concerns about frustration, exhaustion or burnout. I have often seen executives “self-medicate,” binging on alcohol and comfort foods or engaging in risky behaviors. Even when leaders are “keeping it together,” their teams may feel a sense of impending crisis.
In previous blog posts, we discussed the National Youth Orchestra of China’s mission and components. This new summer youth-orchestra project will bring selected Chinese musicians to the United States for two weeks of rehearsals and training before debuting in Carnegie Hall on July 22nd and then embarking on a three-city concert tour of China. Although we do not yet know the names and backgrounds of the students who will make up the orchestra (the application deadline is March 15th), we know those of the many mentors who will work with and inspire these students.
Your job isn’t going quite the way you’d like. Perhaps it’s a recalcitrant employee, or if you’re on the other side of the door, an obstinate boss. Making even slight changes will go a long way toward showing your flexibility and understanding. Most people naturally and rightly respond to sincere effort. Stay an extra 10 or 15 minutes at the office a few days a week, or come in a bit earlier. Take all of five seconds to offer a good word or acknowledgement of a task well done.
In my decades of training and coaching, I have helped many leaders harness storytelling to bring about success. In his observation that good leaders “define reality,” Max De Pree’s important insight is that reality does not define itself. Experienced leaders recognize that truths obvious to them may not be widely understood throughout their organizations. Reality requires interpretation, and narrative work animates that effort.
On January 30th, the National Youth Orchestra of China (NYO-China) was introduced to readers of the Arch Street Press blog as a “National Youth Orchestra for the World.” This new initiative, an orchestra made up of Chinese citizens ages 14 to 21 and set to debut in Carnegie Hall on July 22nd, will tour the US and China this summer and the rest of the globe in years to come.
Making mistakes can be a source of true peace.
What a ridiculous statement, no? How could it be so, and why does it never feel that way at the moment?
How many times are you confronted with meaningful opportunity — in a day, a week, a month? Are you receptive to the signs, willing to pursue them, eager to take your best shot? Doing so may take you out of your comfort zone, may involve some risk, may expose you to criticism and/or failure, may initially sting.