Randstad Canada HR Blog

A Business Manager is like an Orchestra Conductor

Posted by Ashwin Fernandes on Tue, May 07, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

     describe the imageThe role of a business manager is a lot like that of an orchestra conductor. Assisted by a group of professionals, they both transform complexity into harmony. While business managers usually develop their own individual styles to lead teams, these four tasks of an orchestra conductor can also be fully applied to business management.





Orchestra Conductor

Business Manager

- Build your team: unify performers

- Build you team: unify employees

- Set goals: perfect compositions for  opening night

- Set goals: achieve corporate objectives

- Execute accurately: flawless interpretation

- Execute accurately: smooth operation

- Review: listen to the music carefully and observe the reaction of the audience

- Review: inspect results thoroughly and examine feedback


When in the hands of professionals, violins make a gentle silky melody while trumpets produce powerful bright tones; they possess different characteristics and should be used to express different emotions. With proper coordination, every contribution made by each member of the orchestra will weave a beautiful piece of composition that tells a vivid story to the audience. Same as in the musical world, business managers should organize and motivate their teams to guarantee outstanding business performance.  


Build your team

It is critical to equip your team with the right talent that not only comes together with the skills required to achieve your objectives but is also made up of people that fit your company work culture and believe in what you do. You want to make sure everyone in the team is playing the same symphony or marching to the same beat.


Set goals

What do you want to accomplish and what is your end goal? It is unrealistic to ask a violinist to play a tuba, or to ask the orchestra to finish an entire symphony in three minutes. As a business manager, your goals should be SMART- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.


Execute accurately

For an orchestra conductor, it is a requirement to have a full understanding of the compositions, an appreciation of the sound of different instruments, and the meaning behind each single note. In order to tell the best story with the music, the conductor has to cue in instruments accurately and give indications on the volume of the music. Likewise, an important aspect of business management is to be able to tell a compelling corporate story that empowers and inspires people to work together. Effective managers know who to call on to achieve objectives on time and on budget.  Since “practice makes perfect,” the ability to coach and guide team members is key.


Review results

Take a look at a conductor’s facial expression next time you have a chance. You’ll see how he/she bathes him/herself in the melody as if it is a generous feast to the ears. Similarly, a business manager will savor the outcome with the team and review every bit of it. Obtain feedback from your team members and clients; it will come in handy for your next task.


Without a doubt, both business managers and orchestra conductors demonstrate strong leadership within their own millieus. Although coordinating a team has never been easy, just remember these four steps, to help conduct your business orchestra confidently.


Click here to find out how you can find the right business manager for your “business orchestra”.


Cherry Peng