5 Levels of Leadership Most Music Directors Won’t ever Reach.

 5 Levels of Leadership and why most music directors won't ever reach it

Who is this guy??


Playing bass in the Sunday church band years back a new keyboardist came up to me and started directing me how to play a certain part.

Who is this guy??

I’ve never seen this guy ever before in my life, he was a pretty good musician, but he just popped up one Sunday morning and started directing the group.

I guess I didn’t get the memo.

Turns out this new keyboardist was the new music director. I wish someone told me.

I played guitar at the time as a hired side musician, but the new music director wanted full commitment and time from all the musicians. I completely understand his dilemma but most of the musicians there were just hired musicians. The church didn’t have a much of a budget to pay all the musicians for extra rehearsal time during the week.

Music was our day job to pay the bills and they wanted us to work with no pay.

Back to the main premise. 

The music director was a hot shot musician from down south in San Diego, Ca. I heard he’s been a music director for two decades, We’ll… It sure didn’t show.

My approach would have been a lot different when it comes to leading a new group.

My first step before anything would be to build relationships with every member of the group. I wouldn’t just show up unannounced and start barking orders, as if everyone is gonna listen.

There a five levels to leadership and everyone starts at stage one. Plus lots of times many leaders just stay at stage one. Which make me wanna cry 🙁  Boo-hoo!

To increase your leadership you need to increase your influence.

Understanding these five levels of leadership and following through will increase your influence.

5 Levels of Leadership

  1. Positional – People follow because they have to, not because they want to. Everyone starts at this position, but you don’t wanna stay there.
  2. Permission – People follow you because they like you. It’s a wonderful stage to be on. It’s your ability to connect with people.
  3. Production – People follow you because of what you’ve done for the band and results that follow.
  4. People Development – People follow because of what you’ve done for them.  As a leader you choose certain people to train to become a leader in the group. You reproduce your skills by training others.
  5. Personhood – People follow because of who are and what you represent.

The first level is given to you by being hired from a producer, agent, church or record executive to lead a band, The next three levels you have to earn and the last level is automatically given to you.

When people follow you because they have to, there’s no commitment, but as you climb each level the stronger commitment you get from your band mates.

Remember, if you ignore a level and assume you don’t have to commit to it, than you’ll get dragged down a level.

As a leader you won’t be on the same level with every band member. You have to build a closer rapport with those that are not on the same level as you.

Your success is not based on your band, your success is based on you.

John Maxwell is a great leader that has written many books on leadership. I’ve received lots of education from many of his books including:

Check out this John Maxwell’s books it’s well worth it. I believe this new music director I encounter in the story I told,  should take a look John Maxwells material.

Back to the story:

After a month in that band I left because I couldn’t commit to their demands, but that’s okay. No hard feelings. I still kept in touch with the band members. After 6 months the music director left and went back down to San Diego because of undisclosed reasons.

Gee, I wonder what they were. Lol:)

Super quote:

“People never care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
John Maxwell.

“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”
John maxwell

I guess that’s it for now thinking musicians, I’ll see ya next time and don’t be shy and leave a comment below and share this post with others.


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