Who are you callin’ cootie queen, you LINT LICKER!

As an executive figurehead for an arts organization, there’s a time to be relaxed and approachable and a time to keep it classy. Not too far in the recent past, that was a comparatively easy task but in the age of social media, you’ll need to step up your game.

Case in point, Holly Mulcahy recently published an article at Neo Classical about public perception and first impressions. I won’t spoil the fun but she includes an anecdote from her past that involves a conversation with an orchestra executive director that includes mention of a certain owl themed sports bar and an alleged disagreeable waitress.

The whole thing reminded me of those old Orbit gum commercials (which is where today’s title originated).

Do You Kiss Your Donors With That Mouth?

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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