EFMD Annual Conference 2014: Plenary II – Music and Leadership Skills


AT the EFMD Annual Conference, Joshua Jampul interviewed Jan Vogler on how his experience as a musician and what music can teach us about leadership. Jan Vogler began by explaining that he didn’t study in a business school. However, music taught him from the age of seven that competence is the very start. Being the best at a piece of music will mean that you become the leader. 

Before a musical recital, he has 45 minutes to interact with the other members. There is a need immediately motivate them and fill them with energy. People follow the person that has lots of energy and charisma. Smiling and connecting with people with lots of enthusiasm is then the next step.


Access all GlobalEd conference articles here.


The first rehearsal is the most important, even more so than the concert itself as that is what helps create the group dynamic and gives them confidence.

Leadership skills can be acquired but again this comes back to competence and being so far ahead of the others. You have to be prepared to take the lead which means that you know what you are doing and are recognized as an expert in the field.

When you find that you have a talent you then have to learn to develop it as much as possible. Choose one or two specialities and go as far as you can with them.

Pointing out weaknesses can be difficult. It is really a question of personal style. Complimenting others is a better strategy than putting them down and pointing out where they go wrong. Empathy and knowing the team is vital.  There is a great job for everyone, you just need to find the talents they have and help them develop their skills.IMG_7582

He says that:

“I am really only interested in two things; music and people.” 

Furthermore, you must never lose your charm, as this is what gets people engaged and motivated. This might involve persuasion and charm but you also need to like people and interacting with them.

His experience of growing up in East Germany helped him to enjoy change rather than stand firm against the tide of change. In fact change is actually more of an opportunity to develop than a risk.


Your failure is often not noticed by your colleagues.

Also, you should not worry about failure. Often what is a huge failure to you has not been noticed so much by other people. Therefore you should not get hung up about it and instead apply yourself more to it.

Sensitivity he says is undervalued. A good leader tries to focus on what the other person is thinking. This also gives you more confidence as a leader as well as putting you in touch with how the others around you are doing.

Playing music though still involves stress because you always feel as though you are not good enough, that you must always do better. The presence of Bach when you play music is omnipresent.

Sensitivity to different cultures is important though young people today are growing up with this, as the movement of people is more prevalent and so puts them in touch with different cultures and ways of thinking.

Press-JanVogler-byKassKaraJan Vogler

Recognized for his “playing of articulate brilliance” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Jan Vogler’s distinguished career has featured him with renowned conductors Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Fabio Luisi, David Robertson and Manfred Honeck and internationally acclaimed orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra,  the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony. A passionate recitalist and chamber musician, he performs regularly with pianists Hélène Grimaud and Martin Stadtfeld and with violinist Mira Wang.

With a strong classical foundation, Jan Vogler embraces the work of his contemporaries and welcomes the process of experimentation, expansion and refinement in his performance style. A dedicated champion of contemporary music, he regularly premieres new works. Recent performance include compositions by renowned composers Tigran Mansurian (WDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Semyon Bychkov), John Harbison (with Mira Wang, the Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Udo Zimmermann (Bavarian Radio Orchestra).

See also:

Soumitra Dutta, future Dean at Cornell Univeristy, gives keynote speach at Grenoble EM

Soumitra DuttaI am most grateful to Soumitra Dutta and Bill Stirling for having taken the time out last week to give excellent key note speeches at the 6th ICISTM Conference that was held at my school. The conference’s key theme was how the entrepreneurial use of technology can help us out of the current economic crisis.

EFMD Annual Conference 2013: “Executive Education & Corporate Universities” by Philip Healy & David Jestaz

photoCorporate universities are increasingly becoming an option for global companies to maintain and enhance the talent within their organizations to be leaders, as well as provide an incentive for their employees to acquire further skills and other advancement opportunities. In this year’s annual EFMD conference, Philip Healy, Regional Director of the Centre for Creative Leadership (Belgium), and David Jestaz, the Director of EDF Group’s Corporate University, discussed the trend of the corporate university as a form of executive education.

EFMD Annual Conference 2013: “Reinventing Education” by Howard Lurie

photo(8)This year at the EFMD Annual Conference, the trend of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCS) were highlighted and built upon by Howard Lurie, the Vice President for External Affairs for edX, a Harvard and MIT online course initiative. The traditional model for higher education is now changing to reflect the emergence of open source content and learning online. The advantages and disadvantages of going online were discussed, how traditional university models could work with MOOCs to their benefit, and what the next steps forward are for edX amidst all this.

EFMD Annual Conference 2013: “Efficiency and Creativity: the Impact of Management Education upon Business and Economy in Asia” by Dong-Sung Cho

photo(8)Dong-Sung Cho, Professor of Strategy, International Business, Management Design, and Sustainability Management at Seoul National University, gave a lecture at the EFMD 2013 Conference titled “Efficiency and Creativity: the Impact of Management Education upon Business and Economy in Asia.” This lecture discussed themes of management education, particularly through creative channels, and their influence upon the economies in the Asian markets, especially South Korea and China.

EFMD Annual Conference 2013: “Fasten Your Seatbelts” by David A. Wilson

EFMD Annual Conference 2013David Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of GMAC, presented a lecture at the EFMD 2013 Annual Conference titled “Fasten Your Seatbelts.” Higher education is facing an uncertain environment with differing approaches in pedagogy and turbulent markets. Wilson discussed the state of higher education now versus what it was like five years ago, and he gave his vision for higher education in the future.

EFMD Annual Conference 2013: “Does Management Education Create Impact?” by Eric Cornuel

EFMD Annual Conference 2013At the opening address for the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) 2013 Annual Conference, Eric Cornuel, EFMD’s Director General and CEO, gave an inspiring introduction on the positive influence that management education has worldwide.


Filed under Business, Conference, Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Leadership, Management, Strategy

3 responses to “EFMD Annual Conference 2014: Plenary II – Music and Leadership Skills

  1. This was a very interesting post! 😊

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