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Leaders Of Transformation

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Every week our host Nicole Jansen interviews business leaders and difference makers who are transforming the world with their strengths, passion and expertise. Tune in weekly to hear inspiring stories of transformation, overcoming obstacles, and global impact.

From freeing women and children from the sex trafficking industry, to transforming the way we do business and interact with others, these leaders of transformation will inspire and equip you to be the difference maker and world changer you were born to be.

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May 8, 2019

Maestro Roger Nierenberg is an orchestral conductor, leadership consultant, and founder of The Music Paradigm. He made his New York conducting debut at Avery Fisher with the Pro Arte Chorale and Orchestra. He was soon invited to conduct operas in two successive seasons at the Mostly Mozart Festival at New York’s Lincoln Center, followed by long, successful tenures as Music Director of both the Stamford Symphony in Connecticut and the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida.

Guest conducting invitations came from the National Symphony, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Detroit Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and many other great American orchestras. Abroad Roger has recorded with the London Philharmonic and conducted at both the Prague Spring Festival and the Beijing Festival. He has collaborated with many of the most renowned solo artists and composers of our time.

During his tenure with the Jacksonville Symphony, the seeds were planted that would lead Maestro Nierenberg to a startling departure from the conventional, through the unparalleled creation of The Music Paradigm. Through his experiences engaging with community businesses and civic leaders, he became curious about the challenges and opportunities faced by organizations in times of rapid change. He quickly realized how crucial issues of organizational development could be powerfully brought to life within an orchestra. Thus was born The Music Paradigm, which has taken Mr. Nierenberg to the podium of over ninety different orchestras, before hundreds of different organizations in twenty-three different countries. Many of the lessons learned on this journey are presented in his book Maestro: A Surprising Story About Leading by Listening which was honored in 2009 as the Best Leadership Book from 800-CEO-READ.

In today’s conversation, Maestro Roger Nierenberg, guides us on a tour of the Music Paradigm; how he is able to reveal valuable insights to business leaders through music. It’s a different kind of learning that is not only highly effective, but also almost instantaneous, such that participants are able to recognize distinctions in leadership and self-awareness within minutes. He is passionate about helping leaders see the impact they have on people without judgment or being singled out. The music paradigm is truly a revolutionary way to empower leaders and their teams to greatness.

Key Takeaways

  1. Music converts behavior into results almost instantaneously. So you can try on one behavior and immediately you hear the result.
  2. As a leader, if you feel like your job is to fix things when they go wrong or solve problems when they come up, you will never draw out the best in your people. Only a leader that sees what the potential could be and drives the organization towards that success will bring that about.
  3. Really deep insights about organizational leadership in a way transcend the ability to ‘talk’ about it. Even ‘real life’ unfolds too slowly, whereas music allows one to experience it almost instantaneously.
  4. The more the musicians in the orchestra gain insights about themselves, the better they play. The business leaders get to see it first hand and then relate it to their own organization.
  5. It’s not that people in organizations don’t want to change; they can’t visualize it or imagine what that is like. Similarly, often the state that we’re trying to move to, we just can’t imagine it yet.
  6. Skepticism is often unconscious – that you could actually create something that you’ve never experienced or visualized before.
  7. Business organizations don’t routinely practice the way athletes or musicians do.
  8. Leadership is hard to practice and therefore hard to learn as a skill. So leaders are often completely unaware of the effect they’re having on their people.


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