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The Talent Magnet Leadership Podcast


Episode #177: Making Leadership Tangible: Analogies in the Arts with Stefani Matsuo, and Guest Host, Daniel Wachter

Daniel Wachter is the guest host on this episode of the Talent Magnet Leadership Podcast, as part of his series Making Leadership Tangible. Stefani Matsuo is his guest. Stefani is the Concertmaster at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Violin at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. In this exciting conversation, Stefani and Daniel talk about her role as a concertmaster and how the disciplines related to that role can be translated to leadership in the business world.

  • Stefani describes what it’s like to be a concertmaster, and what it takes. [3:09]
  • The partnership between a concertmaster and a conductor can start before the first rehearsal. The concertmaster and conductor can have meetings to discuss the music in advance, as it's being prepared for performance. The conductor's job is to communicate their interpretation of a score through speaking and through their actions, and the concertmaster's job is to interpret the conductor's interpretation and convert that to the orchestra. Concertmasters also have to be able to collaborate with their colleagues on stage and guide dialogue in rehearsals when an interpretation is not clear. [5:26]
  • In music and the business world, individuals will not always agree. Oftentimes, however, these conflicts and the difficult conversations that ensue, can lead to better outcomes as it allows for people to make suggestions and for new methods and avenues to be applied. Making agreements even when you disagree, and being open-minded are traits all leaders should have. [9:39]
  • Trust is one of the key principles of leadership. [14:31]
  • Stefani talks about the many ways concertmasters convey to the orchestra during performances. [15:53]
  • Successful leaders balance being direct and taking a step back, without being laissez-faire. To scale and to motivate people, you need to give them freedom of action. Leave them the space they need and allow them to have their own interpretation, as long as it still aligns with the framework of the composition. [21:00]
  • Learning by doing is the best way to get into the leadership mindset. Leaders also learn by reading, listening to podcasts, and picking the brains of other leaders they know personally. [23:56]
  • Stefani talks about how being a young female concertmaster has impacted her career in the music industry. [27:25]
  • For young women who are or hope to be in leadership positions, be persistent and know that your skills are important and good. If you're turned down for a job, use that critique and build on it to approach your next job. Use the criticism to strengthen your skillset instead of letting it hinder or discourage you. [31:23]



Daniel Wachter | LinkedIn 


Stefani Matsuo | Instagram


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