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A Sigh of Sheer, Unbridled Joy

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Whatever else you do today, make time to watch this! It’s a 4 minute video of Indonesian Conductor Lim Kek-tjiang conducting Taiwan’s Evergreen Symphony Orchestra.

I was so inspired and moved by the sheer, unbridled joy that he takes from his work – exemplified by his ‘sigh of joy’ at 1:33. But don’t just go to 1:33 – you’ll miss the point entirely if you do!

(The piece is a classic : Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana – Intermezzo. "Pretentious? Moi?" You know and love it too.)

And this set me thinking about what great orchestras and great workplaces have in common.

Start with the musicians. Each is a winner. They have invested years and years of tuition and practice to master their instrument. They have overcome fierce competition from other talented and dedicated musicians to secure their place in the orchestra. Each is a thoroughbred, a black belt, a master!

But they can achieve nothing together without the conductor – who, on the face of it, actually does very little. A fancy suit, some bowing, much baton-waving, and lots of applause – while the orchestra does all of the hard work.

Just like many other high-performance workplaces, really:-

Talented individuals who know their stuff.

A leader who sets them up for success - who quietly coordinates and keeps everyone working towards the same goal, making it look effortless, easy.

And makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts.


Treat yourself. Watch the video. You will be moved and inspired. http://bit.ly/Sigh-of_joy

Bob Lee is Communications Director, EMEA with Great Place to Work International.



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