“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” – Halford E. Luccock

Positive Quote: “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” – Halford E. Luccock


Can you imagine a single person symphony? I can’t. I picture chaos, with one person either running around from instrument to instrument or even having multiple instruments on them at one. Either way, not a way I want to hear or enjoy a symphony.


This quote reminds me that no one person can do everything. People must and should collaborate, share ideas, leverage the strengths in others. Not everyone is good at everything, yet together, unique individuals can create something as beautiful as a symphony.


For the majority of my career, at least the last two decades, I have been in a position or role where the large percentage of my success hinges on others; either as a team manager or leading a project where I have no direct authority of the project team. In all cases, it was I who had to learn to adapt my style to learn what communication style worked well with whom. I couldn’t tell myself that someone else would do it or someone else would take care of it or even that if someone didn’t do something I would escalate to their manager.


Being a part of a large organization, both now and in my past roles, I have learned that I cannot do it all, that each person has something of value to add to the table and most importantly, that people prefer to be asked for their help or guidance rather than be directed to help. Granted, there will be those that nothing seems to work with, where the communication and relationship suffer, and ultimately the project or goal. Yet, I am thankful that in my career that number of people has been less than a handful.


Also, this quote reminds me to thank others for their efforts, for their part in the process, for their role. Yes, one must coach, counsel, and work to hold people accountable…yet one must also recognize efforts, when they are warranted. As a leader, I would prefer my interactions with people to be where they don’t cringe when I want to talk to them or they don’t automatically think I have something negative to say. Like any orchestra, to be a success, it takes practice, coaching, counseling, direction, and most importantly, two way communication where each person knows what the end result needs to look and be like. That way, we are all working towards the same goal.


So next time you hear a symphony, or listen to your favorite band, or even reading your favorite book… know that it took more people than you can imagine to create the song, the music, the book that you are enjoying so much.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a fabulous Thursday.





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