Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

4 Great Leadership Lessons from the Arts

This article is an interesting perspective from a businessman about how artists are leaders. He names 4 leadership lessons that can be learned from the members of the arts industry and identifies how having a vision, collaborating with others, being accountable and managing others are all attributes that artists or arts-industry workers can teach corporate america. From the outside looking in, the arts-industry has their stuff together, but we all know that arts organizations are not perfect. As we continually try to perfect our organizations, it feels good to know that corporate america is slightly jealous of us.


One comment on “4 Great Leadership Lessons from the Arts

  1. hshambroom
    September 23, 2014

    To be honest I’m not totally surprised to learn that 15% of the Entrepreneur’s Organization has arts backgrounds. The arts is an especially challenging field to participate in, let alone be a manager or leader in. As we were listing the characteristics of good or bad managers in class the other day, I couldn’t help but also consider the contexts in which these managers manage. Often times arts managers are responsible for leading a team of people who don’t necessarily want to be part of a team. Think about a gallery manager, or a curator responsible for showing the work of multiple artists, or a production manager responsible for keeping an entire company of actors or dancers happy. You respond to not only those working directly for your organization but also the artists your org supports. Artists (of all sorts!) are often times self-employed or free-lanced, and when they participate in an arts organization they may have their own interests in mind rather than the overall goal of the organization (not that this is wrong or bad! just to be clear I am totally in support of artists supporting themselves through their work). Part of managing in the arts involves not just managing your direct employees but also the artists you work with, and this most often involves managing and balancing many personalities. The article mentions this in the second point “Manage Dynamic People Effectively” – “they learn how to bring all people forward together, or no art would ever be created.”

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This entry was posted on September 23, 2014 by .
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