marca strategy news & views
October 30, 2012
What we can learn from Chucho Valdez

Last night I had the good fortune of attending a concert by Chucho Valdez, a renowned jazz pianist from Cuba. During the concert one of the most amazing things was to see the players that formed part of the group, take turns performing these amazing solos.

During these solos the music was outstanding and I noticed how the members of the group were looking at each other with awe, respect and admiration. It struck me that this group of amazing musicians were demonstrating not only their music virtuosity but the qualities of a highly effective team.

Here is a group of people who work closely together, each with their own role and responsibility but all depend on each other for the success of the team. They have rehearsed for their performances, but at times different group members would break from the prescribed structure of the song and would go into these improvised solos where they would take the song to different places, new dimensions. During these improvisations, the rest of the band reads the soloist signs, trusting where he is taking them and follow their lead.

So here we have a highly skilled team that prepares itself to do the best work they can but that also trust each other to take risks and push their limits. The result is amazing pieces of work that can’t be reproduced by anyone else.

Each member persistently doing their best and pushing their own limits, not to compete with the other group members or to try to out do the other’s solos but out of inspiration from what they’ve seen their team members do.

Imagine if we can apply this to our own work teams. Imagine what we can achieve if we have the trust, and give the space and the opportunity for each individual to shine and inspire the rest of the team. 


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