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The Talent Magnet Leadership Podcast


Episode #171: Making Leadership Tangible Analogies in the Arts with Julia Adolphe and Guest Host, Daniel Wachter

What is the link between composition and being a leader? Daniel Wachter’s guest on the Talent Magnet Leadership Podcast, Julia Adolphe, shares the answer in this week’s episode. Julia is a contemporary composer of classical music. She has received numerous awards, including a 2017 ASCAP Young Composer Award. In this must listen conversation Julia dives into the nitty-gritty of music composition and how leaders can apply those concepts in the business world.

  • Julia introduces herself and gives the audience a brief history of her life and her musical career. [2:29]
  • A musical score tells a story, but the story it tells, while having an intention, is left open for interpretation. The conductor is in charge of making sure that the story is told, and that each part of the orchestra is playing and communicating together. The conductor is the one with all the information. [4:22]
  • Art is different for every person, and as a composer, you create a framework and vision, but you allow other musicians to inhabit that world. You let the music speak for itself, instead of being overly instructive. [7:05]
  • If a musician has feedback for another musician within that orchestra the concerns are brought to the conductor. This same structure exists in business. The leader must be given the opportunity to lead and mitigate any issues, or hear any feedback. [12:38]
  • Never assume to know everything there is to be known about your own piece, despite being the person to compose it. Don't assume to have all the best answers for what's right for your work. You have to let go, whether as a composer or a business leader and allow people to perform your work, or tackle the tasks you've given them, in ways that work for them as long as the end result meets the goal. [14:38]
  • Allow space for feedback. "No matter how many years of experience you have, someone playing the violin is going to know more [about how the music flows for them] than someone playing the tuba," Julia remarks. Leaders must allow for this same type of feedback in business. [17:20]
  • When composing for instruments that she has never played before, Julia stresses that the main key is listening. [19:45]
  • Julia talks about how the 'magical sound of an orchestra' matters to what she composes. [22:20]
  • In adding new people to startup businesses, get honest about what your strengths and weaknesses are. Be open to collaboration and leave room for interpretation so that people can perform in their own ways. Open and honest feedback should be encouraged and nurtured. [25:14]
  • Orchestras are being forced to create online content, and Julia credits this as a boon as it allows for more diverse ways to consume the arts. Going digital and having content online breaks down barriers of accessibility.



 Daniel Wachter | LinkedIn | Twitter


Julia Adolphe | Instagram | Twitter 

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