Everyone there was in attendance to see Branford Marsalis. The famed musician was the main attraction for the night and his mere presence dominated the Jefferson Center stage. It was an amazing show and everyone in attendance seemed to appreciate the performance. Marsalis is one of the giants of jazz and in that room there was grandeur and magic.
What a night. One I’ll remember for a long time. But I remember something else about that evening’s concert.
Marsalis played as part of a band that evening and, while everyone knew when the sax master was center stage, he knew the right times to step back and let others move to the forefront.
Most of us love watching the supremely talented do what they do. It’s inspiring and rewarding to see greats excel. There are also some memorable leadership lessons to be gleaned from them. In the case of Marsalis, he knew when to share the stage. He’d occasionally move to a less noticeable space amongst the group and admire the other band members’ performances. As he looked on with appreciation, it encouraged the audience to do the same. I watched him enjoy their solos.
Then, I watched him step back in and effectively take over the spotlight again.
It was a powerful reminder of the power of team and the beauty of collaboration.
The audience had the opportunity to experience a leader sharing the glory, and the stage, and the accolades. Whether he actually used the words, or it was merely the recollection of the night, I remember feeling like he didn’t care who got the credit. He just wanted to put on an incredible show. That’s exactly how we should work in business – in concert.