It was so great to interview Alan Valentine, president and CEO of the Nashville Symphony, for my second book a few weeks ago. Here’s just a little glimpse into the inspiring conversation we had. Be sure to read the full interview in Word of Mouth: More Conversations coming in July!
How did you rally an entire city around your vision—particularly one as large as building a multimillion-dollar symphony center?
AV: “My greatest successes have always come from finding those who are smarter than me—and trying my best to stay out of their way. A leader knows how to guide people and make them feel like an idea is theirs, rather than yours. When I arrived here, I realized there was this perception that only certain groups of people attended the symphony. I wanted the community to take ownership of it, which is contingent on creating a positive culture based on personal relationships.”