Leadership is for Egos
I’m never quite sure whether it’s a good or a bad thing, but it’s probably a mixture of both. Throughout my life I have always been good at getting on with things, and in most cases it has probably largely been driven by impatience. Some call it leading, but the problem with leading is that it doesn’t always work!
When I look back at the stuff I’ve done, both in personal and business life, the achievements that stand out most are those where rather than just leading, my efforts have been one of a number of catalysts to achieving something good. ‘Collaboration’ seems to be a dirty word in some circles, and that’s probably due to jealousies, suspicions, lack of confidence, and a lack of belief in the fact that collaboration actually works. Leading is probably just for those with massive egos.
In business, collaboration is often dressed up in more important phrases such as ‘joint venture’ or ‘strategic partnership’, and part of that is to create a legal definition of the collaborative arrangement. That’s understandable. I’ve done it loads of times, collaborating with companies that offer complementary products on projects where individually we would fail against multinational competition. It doesn’t always work, but it does give you a much better chance to succeed. And occasionally we did.
Music and art is no different. We live in a highly competitive world where it is important to step out of our normal reticence and actively sell our music and art. People who create are not always the best salespeople because what matters to them is the creation not the money that it may generate. Artists on average earn very little. Musicians have to share and give away far more than they sell, but a higher profile will help in taking your recordings to a wider audience. It is a slow burn. It is a snail-pace burn. So the important thing is to enjoy the journey and take whatever opportunities come along.
Every one of us has a special skill in something, but none of us is able to excel at everything, so to lead without collaboration is in my view like driving a truck into a wall. It will gain momentum for a short while but then it will crash. I can’t play tabla or violin or bass guitar, and I can’t sing like Emma and Kate. So to be able to have their talent available is something special indeed. We are just a bunch of mates enjoying our collaboration and nobody is wielding a big stick. Long may it continue!
So come along and join us at one or more of our gigs because this collaboration thing is infectious, inspiring, and is the future.