Sunday, March 25, 2007

On Leadership

Not the most productive of weekends, I'm afraid. Saturday morning found me at a "leadership workshop" at church which was time well-spent, but time spent away from the big D. "Productivity" is very difficult when it is all based on one goal. However, I will reflect a bit on the workshop because I learned quite a bit.

There are supposedly five components to leadership (according to the global strategists Booz Allen Hamilton at a conference in 1996): 1) Challenging the Process, 2) Inspiring a Shared Vision, 3) Enabling Others to Act, 4) Modeling the Way and 5) Encouraging the Heart. Our facilitator, Joy Leach, asked us to examine these five components of leadership and think about our strengths and weaknesses accordingly.

I decided my weak areas were 1 and 2. Sometimes I don't challenge the process when I should, simply to avoid confrontation. I dislike conflict immensely, but have probably failed to realize its necessity in certain processes. However, although I may not like conflict, I do tend toward cynicism and this gets in the way of no. 2's "shared vision." I'm never pessimistic right off the bat, but I can get discouraged when there is a lack of enthusiasm (e.g. from my students). I'm wondering, as a leader (read: teacher) how MUCH of that responsibility is mine? After all, I can teach the same material, using the same text, etc., in two different institutions and have completely different experiences. Is there a point to where you simply cannot adjust your leadership to adapt to a given environment?

I thought my strengths were no. 3 and no. 5. Enabling others to act involves "fostering collaboration" and I love this. I love working together toward a common goal. Of course, sometimes there is conflict about just what that goal is. And here I could use a little work. One of the things I learned from the workshop is that it is imperative to constantly reassess one's goals. (That about sums up my entire dissertation experience). In a group setting, there must be a free and open flow of dialogue in order for this to occur. I think my mistake in the past has been fostering that dialogue without doing anything about it. I have witnessed this in the extreme as well.
Number Five: Encouraging the Heart. I appreciated Joy's explanation of this. It isn't as touchy-feely as it sounds. Leaders need to recognize how to FIND people's heart as some people express it though empathy, some through intellect and some through action. Personally, I think I do all three, although I tend to rely most on my empathy and intellect.

After all of this, I find myself wanting to "go back" and re-do so many things: Music 15 Associateship, Lead TA, etc. etc. But there is no going back. I can only hope that I will have other opportunities to lead (I've already got two instances presently to which I can apply what I've learned). But it has also made me conscious of something else--how to be a follower. One of the repeated mantras of yesterday's workshop was that it is the followers who determine the leaders. I'd add that this is a functional model, rather that a dysfunctional one. So here "leader" and "follower" are almost spiritual least inasmuch as there should be an empathy of spirit.

As for the Diss, I've started in on Chapter Five (Harrison Chapter). The holes here are quite large, but I think I've got everything I need (hopefully). I just re-read Harrison's Music Primer which was a wonderful way to re-engage with this chapter. If you aren't familiar with his fifty page little treatise, everything, I really do recommend it. It will take less than an hour to read and you will get such a wonderful glimpse of the composer and some generally wonderful musings. One of my favorites:

"Originality, personality, or style, can neither be encouraged nor prevented. Forget the matter."

Here's the most recent "map" for this next stretch:

WRITE Bernstein examples permission letter
WF: response from Korach at Boosey & Hawkes
WF: response from McCarthy at B & H!
Review sources on melodicles, chant, etc.
Bookmarked MUSA page in "Dissertation"
Section on Melodicles/Chant? (WHERE?) See below (separate?)
Section on "Solemn Song" (Music Primer)? HERE?
1945 Alleluia (DK's edits)
Section on "Sanctus"
Rest of DK's comments
Decide on Music Examples
SCAN Music Examples
Permissions for Harrison Examples

(Cross-posted at LiveJournal)

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Mostly Musicology, Teaching, and a bit of Miscellanea