The Last Best Place

I’m off to the Big Sky Country this morning for a business trip (a project I hope to be able to write about in a few months)…


Unfortunately, preparations for this excursion combined with putting everything together for the accountants (yes, it’s tax time again) prevented me from completing this article about the three basic types of orchestra managers – yet again.

Regardless, I’ll offer a bit of a preview by sharing the labels for each of the three types:

  • Managers
  • Leaders
  • Builders

  • In the meantime , I’m inviting you to think about how these three designations can be exclusive of one another and what sort of qualities you think would fit each label. In the end, it will be interesting see how closely your perceptions will match what will be presented in the article.

    Hopefully, I’ll have some time to finish this piece during airport layovers but if time continues to work against me you can expect to see something up on Wednesday.

    About Drew McManus

    "I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

    I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

    In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

    For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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