Inspiration As Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I follow the epically-and-accurately-named "Epic Conducting Photos" tumblr. As should you.

Described as "an attempt to compile the greatest poses, facial expressions, hair, and other moments caught on camera, in the history of orchestral conducting," it's a nearly-endless source of laughter. Because let's be honest: Conductors do the strangest things.

Mostly, I follow it for amusement. But every now and again, it's got a little something extra to offer. Take today's entry, for example. It features a gif of Andris Nelsons enthusiastically conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in a performance of Richard Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie ("Auf dem Gipfel"). But it also features a quote that really struck me.

"The most effective way for a conductor to inspire an orchestra is to be thrilled to be onstage himself."

I love that sentiment. And not just for conductors (though I suspect it's accurate in that context), but for pretty much any situation where leadership and inspiration are required. Want folks to commit to (and be enthusiastic about) your project? If you're enthusiastic about it (and committed to it), that will certainly go a long ways towards convincing others to do likewise. Need people to be inspired about (and by) your vision? Be inspired by it yourself.

OK, so maybe a bit closer to home (and timely): I want my Little Leaguers to be fired up about playing baseball, right? Well, a great starting point would be for me to be excited about being there and coaching them, myself. No need to look at them, because the buck starts here.

Attribution(s): "Frederick leading his troops at the Battle of Zorndorf" by Carl Röchling is in the Public Domain via Wikipedia.