Becoming An Influential Leader

Becoming An Influential Leader

“You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” – Bob Nelson, Author If you saw the 2014 movie “Whiplash,” you’ll surely remember Terence Fletcher (played by J.K. Simmons), the tyrannical jazz band leader fond of profanity and humiliating his young musicians.  The film […]

All About That Bass: The Essence of Leadership

All About That Bass: The Essence of Leadership

Unless you’re a serious jazz head, you probably haven’t heard of bassist Gary Peacock. But Peacock’s pedigree is impressive: he’s played with such jazz legends as Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, and a host of others. I recently came across an article on the NPR website titled “Bassist Gary Peacock Is At The Soloist’s […]

Want to drive creativity? Improvise!

Want to drive creativity? Improvise!

As a jazz musician, I’ve always believed that strengthening your ability to improvise can boost creativity whether or not you play an instrument. That’s why the workshops I do on creativity and innovation always include exercises in improvisation. No wonder a recent article titled “Jazz improvisers score high on creativity” caught my attention. Scientists at […]

How to turn a “fail” into a “win”

How to turn a “fail” into a “win”

I love talking about failure, or more specifically, how thinking differently about failure and mistakes often lead us down unexpectedly fruitful paths. Miles Davis once quipped: “Do not fear mistakes; there are none.” That’s mostly true when playing jazz, a type of music that celebrates spontaneous self-expression — warts and all — rather than perfection. […]