Tiffany Chang



Conductor as CEO

I see a world where conductors make artistic organizations great like CEOs make businesses great--by being of service to its people. That is not just the responsibility of Executive Directors, and conductors have way more influence on this than they may think. We can all be the Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates of the orchestral world.

Imagine an organization where its people stand up for those to their left and right; where every individual can clearly articulate a collective, unified purpose; and where this energy, passion, and humanity transmit naturally to their audiences. That's the world I want to work in.

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Posted by Tiffany Chang on March 4, 2021 at 8:55 AM

I want to begin with a passage from Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath:


"...legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice--that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can't treat on...

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Perks & costs

Posted by Tiffany Chang on February 21, 2021 at 9:50 AM

Title has nothing to do with leadership. Leadership has everything to do with trust.


When we are given the privilege of being the leader, we enjoy many perks: the bigger office, higher salary, fancy title, name on dressing room door, people bringing us coffee, the authority to tell others what to do. All those perks come with a cost. When we are faced with danger and threat, leaders are expected to protect those in their charge, even if it means sacrificing their own comfor...

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To go first

Posted by Tiffany Chang on February 15, 2021 at 10:45 PM

What does leadership mean in music? First, we must consider that to lead means to go first, to be the first to do something. Once the leader goes and does it, everyone else follows because they think "oh, I can do it too."


I'm interested in why don't more musicians want to go first? Musicians are creative, curious, courageous people, so why are there not millions of musical innovators and leaders pushing the envelope? Why would we rather sit there and be told what to do? Th...

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Conductor as CEO - starting the conversation

Posted by Tiffany Chang on February 15, 2021 at 2:20 PM

Why is there growing dissent and declining job fulfillment for ensemble musicians? Why are there more stories about conflicts between orchestras and conductors compared to stories about conductors fighting for their orchestras? Why don't conductors focus on making things better for musicians? I'm thinking beyond matters of artistry, salary, or job security (though important and part of it), but rather the everyday work culture.

Many musicians (even conductors) feel a lack of...

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