There are certain moments in life for which there is no script. Jazz is like that for me.

The words "classical" and "jazz" have become leadership metaphors for me. If you missed my first "Lead Like Jazz" article, let me recap some basic ideas.

In classical music, the musicians play the notes that are placed in front of them. They carefully follow the conductor's direction, and they're expected to play with precision. Paying careful attention to detail is what defines excellence.

Jazz is different. Contrary to what non-jazz lovers may think, jazz is not a talent-less free-for-all. It just requires a different approach to making music. There's no conductor and rarely (if ever) any sheet music. Because the musicians are often improvising and "playing by ear," they need a different set of skill.

I often see other leaders in my organization, regardless of whether or not they've ever picked up an instrument, as musicians that ...

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