Although we typically think of the titans of industry and leaders of the free world as products of the military or an ivy league MBA program, for an unconventional leader we might look to the fine arts. “Theater, music and the fine arts all require, undeniably, an above-average level of creativity,” writes Miller-McCune’s Ritch K. Eich. “But they also require the type of discipline, passion and commitment that can be extremely valuable in many areas of business that are now floundering.”
Eich’s favorite example—not to toot any fine art’s horn exclusively—is found at the front of a marching band:
Under [bandmaster William] Revelli’s direction, the Michigan Marching Band was the first to use original scores for their band shows and employ synchronized music and movements. They were highly praised for their precision, formations and style. Revelli was tough on his young band members and would not accept mediocrity in his organization. His exceptionally high standards called each member to a higher commitment, not only to their music, but also in all areas of their lives. He looked at the band as an antidote to juvenile delinquency.
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Translating the same qualities he exhibited in rehearsals and on the field, and looking at how he made everyone in his band reach for their greatest potential, there is no doubt that he would have made an excellent corporate leader had he chosen that path.