Leadership inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. On the plane from Austin yesterday, I watched the documentary, Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man. Leavell, if you don’t know him, is one kickass keyboard player (playing with the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and a ton more).
If you think that you can only lead as the front person, ponder these quotes about Leavell from the film:
“He can be the most important person in the room, but he makes everyone else feel like you belong there with him.” Pat Monahan of Train.
“He gave the Rolling Stones structure without making them feel tethered,” noted his wife, Rose Lane.
That’s magic in leading: Inspiring great performances by not taking up all of the oxygen in the room, sensing how to help others be at their peak, and knowing that leading is about “we,” not “me.” Leavell likely doesn’t think of his work as leading, yet it is clear in the film that others are following him.
Watch this wonderful film. You’ll also discover that Leavell is a forest advocate, environmentalist (he co-founded Mother Nature Network), and just a super nice person.