Become a Conscious Leader

Learn how to build your influence and impact the industry.

My last two posts were about helping you become a world-class project manager.

But now it's time to step up from managing projects to leading a movement.

Effective management is about ensuring projects are executed flawlessly, but leadership - especially conscious leadership - goes beyond execution. It’s about inspiring your team, setting new standards, and driving meaningful change.

Management v. Leadership - What’s the Difference?

Management is about maximizing output within an existing system.

You focus on planning, organizing, and coordinating resources to achieve specific goals. You're ensuring your records are finished on schedule, your content is produced efficiently, and your marketing campaigns run smoothly.

Leadership is about envisioning what the system can become and expanding its potential. 

You set the vision and inspire your team to achieve it. You don't just aim to hit targets; you redefine what those targets could be.

Leaders in the music industry also push boundaries, influence culture, and develop environments where creativity and innovation thrive.

A Few Leadership Fundamentals

  • Visionary Thinking: Look beyond the next release or tour. Envision broader impacts, like how your actions and the culture you create around you can resonate throughout the industry. Your vision should be the guiding light for everything your team does.

  • Integrity and Authenticity: Be consistent in your values and transparent in your actions. In an industry often criticized for its superficiality, your authenticity will stand out. Lead with integrity, advocating for inclusivity, fairness, and respect.

  • Adaptability: The music industry evolves rapidly. Anticipate changes and adapt your strategies accordingly. Stay open to new ideas and technologies, and guide your team through transitions with resilience and flexibility.

  • Influence Over Authority: Use your influence to inspire and motivate. Make your team feel capable and valued, and inspire other artists and professionals within the industry.

  • Emotional Intelligence: Understand and manage your emotions, and don’t be afraid to engage in uncomfortable discussions with your team. This skill builds deep connections and trust while enhancing collaboration and loyalty.

A person's success in life can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.

- Tim Ferris

From Effective Leadership to Conscious Leadership

I didn’t set out to become a leader, but I kept finding myself in situations where leadership was needed. And I kept feeling the call to step up.

Over the past few years, I have become more and more interested in helping others discover their capacity for leadership. So I developed my own take on ‘conscious leadership’.

Becoming more conscious means that you gain more awareness of what is going on inside and around you.

It brings with it a deeper connection to your work and everyday life. But it also brings with it additional responsibility to take ownership of your life and your capacity to lead.

Here’s an illustration:

As you can see from the graphic, there are many facets to your existence that you can become more conscious of.

The human body sends 11 million bits per second to the brain for processing, yet the conscious mind seems to be able to process only 50 bits per second.

As you become more conscious, you begin to process more of those signals that are already coming in from your body and environment.

Conscious leadership simply means that you approach leadership with more internal and external awareness.

The 5 Pillars of Conscious Leadership

1. Unleashing Potential: Don’t seek to control; aim to unleash human potential, creativity, and innovation. Support your team in exploring new musical territories and business models without fear of failure. Encourage experimentation and expression that break new ground.

2. Creating Resilient Foundations: Build organizations and communities grounded in integrity, transparency, and cooperation. Set new standards in contracts, ensuring fairness in legal agreements, and be transparent about revenue streams and costs. This builds trust and long-term loyalty.

3. Restructuring Hierarchies: Empower everyone in your organization because each person is part of an interconnected whole. By allowing team members to make decisions and take on leadership roles, you foster a sense of ownership and commitment at all levels.

4. Exercising Moral Courage: Take principled stances, even when they are difficult or unpopular. Stand against industry norms that perpetuate inequality or advocate for changes in copyright laws to better serve artists. Champion ethical practices with courage.

5. Embracing Uncertainty: Don’t fear uncertainty. Cultivate the confidence to navigate challenges. In the volatile music industry, thrive on your ability to adapt and respond to new trends and technologies while maintaining a clear vision for the future.

As you develop your leadership skills, embrace the principles of conscious leadership to drive your team and yourself towards greater achievements.

Steps to Becoming a Conscious Leader

To truly lead in the music industry, start by defining what you stand for.

Review the Artist Branding Playbook Part 2 - Lead With Purpose for practical exercises that will help you define your values and your ‘why’.

What values drive your music and your business decisions?

How can you ensure your actions and your team’s actions reflect these values?

  • Define Your Why: Understand why you want to lead and what kind of leader you want to be. This will guide your decisions and actions.

  • Live Your Values: Make sure every decision and interaction reflects your core values. Let your team and audience see your principles in action.

  • Empower Your Team: Give your team the tools and trust they need to take initiative. When they grow, you grow.

  • Commit to Continuous Learning: Stay curious. Learn from other leaders, books, and history. Diverse insights lead to innovative ideas.

  • Challenge the Status Quo: Never settle. Question, disrupt, and improve industry norms. Lead with a vision for a better future.

Leadership development starts with self-awareness and extends to team dynamics, industry standards, and global impacts.

Our world needs more conscious leaders.

Embrace this leadership mindset, and lead the industry towards a future where success is measured not just by syncs and streams, but by positive influence and integrity.

Take the stage and lead with purpose so that your impact extends far beyond your music.