Dr. Matthew Arau • Leadership TipsNovember 2023 • November 1, 2023

Change is in the air. This time of year, we experience the change of seasons from fall to winter and many of our music programs are in transition from marching band to concert band season or knee-deep in preparations for a holiday or winter concert. Although it can be easy to just move from one season to the next without resetting, regrouping, and re-examining our purpose, we can gain so much when we intentionally embrace transitions to focus on all that we are grateful for. Beyond feeling gratitude, it is important to share gratitude for others.

How can leaders extend gratitude to create meaningful connections and encouragement for those they lead? Consider that a significant role of a leader is to shine the spotlight on others. Here are five leadership tips to help those you lead shine brightly.

1. Go out of your way and take time to let folks know you value them. Everyone wants to feel they provide value to the group. 

2. Find opportunities to let students know they matter and the ensemble or class would not be the same without them. 

3. Let individuals know they make a difference. When we feel our efforts, work, and participation contribute toward achieving a larger goal, we are inspired to continue moving on a positive pathway forward.

4. Highlight what you appreciate about those you lead or teach. 

5. Provide and create space for others to be in the spotlight to showcase their skills and light within.

The more we can help others shine the more the entire group will shine. When students feel that they are valued, that they matter, and that they make a difference, their own inner light will shine brightly and illuminate everyone else around them. Shine on!

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