“What’s the hardest instrument to play?”

A journalist once asked Leonard Bernstein, the late, legendary conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Without skipping a beat, he replied:

Second fiddle…I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm, now that’s a problem. And yet if no one plays second, we have no harmony.

We hear a lot about how to lead well when you’re number one. A lot less about how to lead well when you’re number two.

We enjoy talking about how to help those we’re leading do more of what we value. It’s confronting to reflect on whether we’re personally modelling what we value to those we’re following.

Many of the qualities we expect from our team cannot be demanded of them, they need to be demonstrated to them. Your team need to see you be them.

The remarkable leaders I know are remarkable team players. They aren’t just committed to developing their leadership, they also commit to developing their followership. Because they understand something valuable.

They know that leading under a leader never makes you less of a leader. That leadership & followership are two sides of the same coin and you can’t be great at one without the other.

tweet this

So in this next short series we’re going to unpack some of the qualities of a number one number two.

I’m curious about which qualities you would add to the list? Feel free to contact me here and let me know.

A question to reflect on in the meantime:
“What do I value from my team that I’m not yet personally modelling with my leader?”