#Leadership Lessons from a High School Musical

The final curtain came down on the high school musical today.  After five shows this week, my middle son and his fellow thespians delivered their sixth and final performance this afternoon.  This morning there was a bit of added anxiety when the cast learned that one of the leading ladies was in the hospital and would be unable to perform. At 8:00 this morning, a cast member with a minor role was informed that she would play this leading lady part in their 2:00 show. Amazingly, this young lady learned the part, including lines, songs, and dances, in just a few short hours. She was calm and poised and delivered a memorable performance. It really was a wonderful example of being ready when opportunity presents itself.

I learned later that this young lady was a senior who had auditioned for this particular part but had not been selected.  As a senior, I’m sure she coveted this role.  I’m also sure she never expected to get this opportunity, in this way.  But when she got that early morning call, she rose to the occasion and got the job done.

I learned another thing about leadership from watching several of the performances this week.  The cast of a high school musical is the ultimate team.  They support each other; they encourage each other; they cheer for each other; they express how much they care for each other.  It is the closest thing to a strong family unit that I’ve seen.

One of the reasons this strong team environment is achievable is because in a musical, every individual knows his or her specific role in the show.  The roles are clearly defined and all know the part they play.  This removes the tension and frustration that often erodes teams when roles are not clearly specified.

The lessons from this high school musical can help us to be more effective leaders.  First, we need to be ready when opportunity knocks.  Plan, prepare, work hard, remain calm and poised, and get it done when your chance comes.  Second, make sure all members of your team have clearly defined roles and that they understand these roles.  When team members understand their roles, they are more likely to be content and engaged members of the team.

Enjoy leading your team.  I hope these lessons help you become the star of the show!

Thanks for reading,


P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog – http://www.jvearle.wordpress.com
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Website – http://www.jvearle.com


2 thoughts on “#Leadership Lessons from a High School Musical

  1. Good points as always, Jim. I wonder if what you noticed in the bonding and support of their team is influenced by not having a competitor as we are used to seeing in sports teams. Sure, they compete for the audience’s approval and the comparison with shows from other schools and past years, but not having another equal group present vying for victory probably results in different dynamics. It is probably more akin to NASA’s support team when launching a rocket – critical skill, communication, and timing under pressure to pull off a perfect execution. It’s what you work so hard for in practice that can be hard to really deliver when in sports only one team walks away with the victory.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s