Work Allies Help You Orchestrate Your Success


This weekend I attended the Oregon Symphony’s season opening with the premier performance of a young local composer’s work called “Chamber Music”. Katherine Balch, the composer, was asked why she called a large orchestral work “Chamber Music”. She explained that the wonderful experience of performing music with friends in a small venue has always been her favorite way to make music. Her composition tried to capture all those nuances. She included the interruptions by extraneous, unpredictable noises with the underlying theme of the sounds coming from the instruments.

Understand relationships and leverage them

Her work came together because she understood and leveraged the juxtapositions and relationships of sounds that happen in chamber music performances. She heard the odd creaking chair, an insect flying about and a bit of gossip happening in the background all as part of the music. Her work’s purpose was to bring a sense of wholeness even when the sounds seemed unrelated. Inclusion resulted in her completed work.

Doing it alone isn’t better

Isn’t that what you are striving for as a leader in your workplace? Is your aim to achieve a sense of wholeness for yourself amidst the fire drills, instant demands and insufficient knowledge? Somehow there is a belief that doing it alone is better than asking others for a leg up. Embrace others and try to understand everyone else’s experience. It will help you see further and achieve more.

Create allies as soon as you arrive in a new job. These allies do not have to become your next best friends. They are striving to succeed too, so a mutual relationship of support can benefit you and your allies. Nurture these relationships to see what value you can derive from them as well as what value you can offer.

Leverage your relationships

Just as composer Balch leveraged sounds made by flowerpots and wind chimes, you can leverage the relationships you have made if you explore and understand where these relationships fit in the bigger picture.

Leveraging relationships is understood and valued on the golf course and in the boardroom. Make sure that you have significant allies and relationships you can rely on when you need information or support.

Start finding out more about your colleagues’ knowledge, connections and ambitions. When you need additional information, historical knowledge or understanding of existing procedures your allies can fill your knowledge gaps quicker and with more relevance than Google.​

You can receive more guidance on leveraging relationships at work by emailing


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