The Ignorant Maestro: How Great Leaders Inspire Unpredictable Brilliance

November 28, 2020
The Ignorant Maestro: How Great Leaders Inspire Unpredictable Brilliance

"Choosing ignorance might seem a terrible quality toexhibit in your workplace—a sure path down the stairs and out thecorporate door. But stick with me here and see how it leads youupward. You'll understand why great leaders embrace ignorance anduse it to elevate their people to new heights ofachievement."A conductor in front of his orchestra is an iconic symbol ofleadership—but what does a true maestro actually do to enable theright sort of cooperation among his players, leading to anexcellent performance? If you think his primary job is making surethe musicians play the right notes, prepare to be surprised.For twenty years, in addition to conducting orchestras aroundthe world, Itay Talgam has been a "conductor of people" forcompanies large and small, for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies aswell as startup entrepreneurs, and beyond. Drawing on his decadesof experience on the podium, he teaches nonmusicians how conductingreally works and how the conductor's art can help leaders in anyfield.In his lectures (including an acclaimed TED talk) and now inthis book, Talgam shows why imposing your vision on your people islikely to backfire. Great conductors may know in advance how theywant a piece to be played, but they make room for the creativityand passion of their musicians. They respect the gap between thebaton and the instruments. They focus more on listening than onspeaking. And they embrace their own ignorance, knowing that othersmay have better ideas than the conductor can imagine.Talgam explores the nuances of leadership by describing thedistinctive styles of six world-famous conductors: the commandingRiccardo Muti, the fatherly and passionate Arturo Toscanini, thecalm Richard Strauss, the gurulike Herbert von Karajan, the dancingCarlos Kleiber, and the master of dialogue Leonard Bernstein. Alltook different approaches to the age-old leadership dilemma: how tomaximize both control and creative freedom at the same time.The Ignorant Maestro will empower you to help your ownteam make even more beautiful music. Talgam's anecdotes andinsights will change the way you think about listening, humility,and the path to unpredictable brilliance.From the Hardcover edition.