Inspiring others to do their best

Image courtesy of pal2iyawit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Earlier today a footballist was sacked.  As I don’t know much about football, I decided I should do a bit of research into this matter to fully understand what went on.  From what I can gather, Jose Mourinho is widely regarded by a number of players, coaches and commentators as one of the greatest and most successful managers in the world.  Despite this, he was sacked!  So I then did more research to find out how this could happen.  It turns out that apparently his team, Chelsea, have lost most of their games since the start of the 2015 Football season.  This, it would seem, is a bad thing. Such a bad thing in fact that the ‘best manager in the world’ has been shown the door as a result.

Image courtesy of pal2iyawit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pal2iyawit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a feeling there were a few other issues with this Mourinho chap which perhaps helped to seal his fate.  Nevertheless, despite not knowing much about football, I have noticed there is a trend that when the team loses, the Manager gets sacked or quits.  Not the players or the coach, the manager!

If you transfer this concept to the world of choirs, then potentially as a choirmaster I could be in a lot of trouble.  Following the footballist’s theory, if one of my choirs sing so much as a single wrong note in a concert then I will go back to conducting an ‘air choir’ whilst listening to a CD in the studio – not that I ever do that of course!  Perhaps that is a little excessive – I certainly hope so!  Nevertheless, it does serve as a reminder for those of us in charge of a ‘team’ that you bear responsibility for their actions as well as your own.

So far I have never yet been sacked by a choir because of a poor performance, or because they didn’t win a particular competition.  Possibly this is because the choir members haven’t yet realised that’s an option? They just think they’re stuck with me no matter what.  However, if the best football manager in the world can be sacked for bad management, then I should perhaps consider upping my game. I am certainly a very long way off from being the best choirmaster in the world. I’m probably not even the best choirmaster in my street.

Nevertheless, I think the moral of the story is you don’t have to be the best, you simply have to inspire others to do their best.  I’ve always felt this is my role as a choirmaster.  And even if the occasional wrong note does occur, in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter provided everyone in the choir had fun and anyone in the audience felt suitably entertained.

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Jules Addison is Musical Director for The BlueBellesThe Pewsey BellesCirencester Male Voice Choir & Great Western Harmony.