Drum Major Leadership After Marching Band Season

Drum Major Leadership in the Offseason.

Drum Major Leadership in the Offseason.

The marching band season is now part of the 2018 – 2019 school year. This presents a newfound leadership opportunity for drum majors.

While the excitement of standing in front of the band and conducting the selected show/music is no longer part of the leadership agenda, there is much to do in its place to support the ongoing forward momentum of the band program.

Herein lies the real measure of the servitude leader.

  • We follow those we respect and trust
  • We follow those who bring benefits to our lives
  • We follow those who are understanding of our wants and needs
  • We follow those who make us feel better about ourselves.

With those in mind it is apparent the drum major/leadership responsibilities are more critical now than ever.

We can all benefit by wrapping our minds around the insights of the leaders who have traversed the pathway of success. Their proven template of quality achievement is adaptable to many of our own situations; therefore, we can learn from the high achievers as their understanding relates to our own leadership possibilities.

Successful leaders have always had the ability to “go beyond the assigned responsibilities.” Not only do they complete the given task in an effective and efficient style, but they also add a difficult-to-define bit of “magic” to the way they go about their work. What is this secret ingredient that separates the exemplary student leaders from the rest of their colleagues?

Many have attempted to quantify it, replicate it, diagnose it, and assess it in a way that it can be taught to others, and yet it seems (at best) very elusive. When we observe a successful leader in action, we know there is something very special about the way he or she “connects” with those around him or her.

It is far more than “mere communication,” rather, it is a sincere investment in the relationship with the intention of creating BETTERMENT for all.

We tend to label this contextual gift with such terms as enthusiasm, expertise, people skills, communication competence, proficiency, sensitivity, and even charisma. Yes, it is all of these and more. It is the right combination of personality attributes tailored to the given leader, and it seems to be as individualized and as unique as the pattern of a snowflake.

Leader magic is an intangible.

Perhaps the leader’s success does not come from the mastery of a certain discipline, but rather it is a manifested reflection of the values of the leader. If this hypothesis is true, a successful leader could adapt his or her leadership skills to a multitude of learning areas.

There have been many lengthy discussions bantering the reasons why certain student leaders enjoy ongoing success while others struggle to achieve a similar level of accomplishment.

Undoubtedly the controversy will continue forever; however there may be a clue to the mystery in the following words of wisdom from the pen of the popular Lebanese actor/comedian, Danny Thomas:

“Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself— it’s what you do for others.”

Therein lies the common denominator found in all successful leaders: WHAT THEY DO FOR OTHERS. Leaders are measured by what they “give”—not by what they have.

Leadership success is not about the accumulation of various awards and trophies; it is about creating a positive atmosphere to support the success of each and every person who makes up the group, team, organization, or community.

In the words of noted poet/philosopher Kalu Ndukwe Kalu:

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

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Benjy is a character in a story told by DMA’s great friend Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser. Benjy was the terrified freshman who was ready to quit

Drum Major Leadership: Me vs We.

Are you I-Me or We-Us?

Heidi is one of our Lead Clinicians for the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy. In her “spare time,” she’s a Professor of Music and