Leadership Lessons From Jazz

  • UH 102
  • Teacher: Robert D Alley
  • Term: spring 2020
  • Credits: 1

“The clear premise of this book is that nurturing spontaneity, creativity, experimentation, and dynamic synchronization is no longer an optional approach to leadership. It’s the only approach. The current velocity of change demands nothing less. It demands paying attention to the mental models, the cultural beliefs and values, the practices and structures that support improvisation.” Frank Barrett, Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons Learned from Jazz


Through Barrett’s book and Wynton Marsalis’ Moving to Higher Ground, we will explore examples of how the world’s best, most admired leaders not only survive and thrive in today’s rapidly changing world, they create and innovate by leading their teams using the same principles and philosophies that jazz musicians do. We will explore how these principles, philosophies and actions, at the core of jazz music and culture, can help you become a better, more successful leader, and to be more stable in an increasingly unstable world. Experiences with the actual music are a bonus, but at the same time, are necessary and integral to understanding how these concepts apply to non-musical environments.