Q+A with Alexander Mickelthwate, WSO

September 18, 2017
Before our season premier on Sept. 29, Alexander Micklethwate, music director of the WSO, and passionate community leader, shares lessons learned and what he’ll miss most about Winnipeg.
1. How do you best communicate your vision with your team?
As a symphony conductor it’s all about creating an absolutely fine-tuned and well-oiled machine out of 70 individuals performing in total synchronicity. My tools range from spoken technical observations to emotional hand gestures. There is nothing like it.
2. What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
I believe every leader has to have some form of total obsession in regards of the product he/she is working on.
3. What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
It seems that the old hierarchical model of organizations is being replaced by a model where everybody wants to be a leader. THE leader has to recognize that and find ways to inspire all the other leaders.

4. How do you ensure everyone on your team is happy?
At the end it’s all about the outcome. It’s exciting to be part of a winning team. It’s exciting to be part of creation. It’s the leaders responsibility to create ownership among the team and that way generate extreme satisfaction among everybody.

“Every leader has to have some form of total obsession.”
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5. What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
I would suggest to first of all either play in a band, perform in a play, or join a sports team. Then I would suggest to prepare a band, direct a play or coach a team. Try out different roles to see the impact leadership makes.

*Bonus question: Other than the WSO, what will you miss most about Winnipeg?
Those ice-cold, crystal-clear, blue-skied winter days where everything is covered with frost.

To hear more of Alexander’s story, join us for Leading Teams to Harmony, our September Membership Luncheon on Sept. 29 at the Centennial Concert Hall. Tickets can be purchased here.