Why Strong People Make a Lasting Difference

Music is a constantly changing and ever evolving language. Joana Carneiro speaks this language fluently. Joana is a Portuguese conductor who is a fast rising star in a rarefied world of orchestral conductors. She is an undoubted powerful presence in a mostly male dominated world, making her mark by passionately captivating the attention of audiences around the globe.

Carneiro first came to worldwide attention in 2002 as a finalist in the Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition at Carnegie Hall. She followed that by winning the Young Musician’s Foundation 2002 National Conductor Search. In 2009 she was named the 3rd ever, and first female, music director of the prestigious Berkeley Orchestra. In 2014 she was named Principal Conductor of the Portuguese Symphonic Orchestra.

She is strong.

Personality and Presence

Highly influential people, leaders, are those who have great personality and presence among their peers and teams. Influential leaders have the skills and self awareness to navigate the constantly changing world of their professional culture.

These leaders, like Joanna Carneiro, passionately captivate those around them and are not afraid to step up and into challenging situations when needed. Leaders who know and leverage their strengths have a greater capacity to make a lasting difference… they are strong people.

Strong People Do Not Always Win

Influential leaders put themselves on the line, and they do not always win. Strong people have learned that not every attempt to engage their strengths has a positive outcome. Like Joanna Carneiro, enduring leaders persevere and press on even though they may not ‘win’ everything.

But there is something here that we need to pay attention to: influential leaders, the great leaders, strong people who are transforming lives, have a sense of intentionality to them. They know their moment when they must be in the center of it all, surrounded by others, that they will fulfill their greatest purpose – to influence and serve other people.

When you watch Joana Carneiro conduct, no matter the size of the venue or audience, you will notice her style: exciting, passionate and explosive. Joanna Carneiro brings all of her experience, education and emotion to the podium, in an effort to bring out the best in her orchestra.

She attributes this ability to many key factors,

I’ve been nurtured as a conductor all my life… first by my family who felt it was a fantastic idea. All my teachers in Portugal, and all the cultural institutions have really invested actively in my artistic growth.

Like Joana, strong people realize their life experiences, education and emotion are a unique part of what makes them stand out.

Stepping Onto The Podium

When an orchestral conductor takes the stage, they are connected with the orchestra. Everyone is one, on a level playing field, for a moment. Then, when it is time, the conductor does something which sets them apart, they step up onto the podium. This one small step sets them apart, differentiates them, so they can be seen, so they can lead. This small elevation, (it’s just shy of 8 inches off the stage) becomes the place within the place, the place among others, that positions them for influence.

Strong people know when it is time to step up on onto the podium. Strong people know their greatest potential for generative influence is a matter of timing. Strong people know that being in the right place at the right time is very important. But great leaders, the strongest of the strong, understand that there is also a place within a place, a podium, that they need to step up and onto when the time is right. This one small step changes your perspective: now you can be seen, and you can now see others. It’s time

Are You Strong?

Have you ever taken the risk and stepped up and onto the podium for that distinct and unique position of influence?

  • Do you know this place? Where is it and who are the people of this place?
  • Do you actually follow the passions of your strengths to find this place?
  • How did this make you feel?

Then what happened? Most importantly, have you shared this story with someone else?

Featured Image from IMG Artists.