How does an orchestra and choir instructor transform from a leader in music to a leader in business? Find out from my interview with Hugh Ballou.
Hugh has had a very unique career that includes an orchestra instructor, author, director of ministries and leadership expert. Today, Hugh talks about his new book, Transforming Power.
Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)?

After spending 40 years as conductor of choirs and orchestras, I developed leadership training models that are transferable from conducting to organizational leadership. My first book came from my years of leading music ministry in small to mega churches. The position I held as Director of Worship Ministries, required the fine-tuning of many types of leadership skills. I have followed the Transformational Leadership model.
The latest article I have published is in the June issue of Performance Magazine titled “Team Performance: Orchestrating Success with Your Team.”  A PDF of the article is available at:
I wrote the first book in 2004 because I had much to say to leaders. Since I did not consider myself to be a writer, this was a journey of growth and commitment for me. The first part of the book, Moving Spirits, Building Lives, that I wrote was a chapter deep in the book with the title, “Getting Things Done.” Once that chapter was finished, I felt an obligation to live up to what I wrote. Therefore, I finished be entire book in 4 weeks.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Working as a business strategist, process facilitator, and executive coach, I teach similar lessons to one person at a time. I wanted to make these lessons available to more people in a more practical and cost effective way. So the book and companion workbook provided a system to provide people with my real life strategies that really work. My business vision is to make a difference in people’s lives and my mission is to provide useful leadership tools that are easily applied.
How many books have you written?
Six. Four are currently in print and a book and workbook for business leaders will be out in the fall of 2008.
How do you decide on their topic?
I write about what I teach and what I know. The lessons I teach and the books I write are intended to help leaders avoid the mistakes I made.
What works best to keep you focused and on track?
Using the strategies that I teach: set specific, timed goals with clear action steps and share your goal with someone who will hold you accountable.
Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
I write to help leaders develop new skills. I wanted books like this when I working in large organizations and could only find books with an “academic” not a practical approach. So, I created practical resources that teach immediately useful strategies.
What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your books?
Blog tour, radio, TV, web marketing, word-of-mouth, public speaking and a live Leadership TeleSeminar twice a month.
What are some unique methods?
Giving books to College libraries and professors – they then order them for textbooks
Do you sell through a website?
Yes – and
Do you plan on writing additional books?
Yes, two more will be published in 2008 and one in 2009. In 2008 both Leaders Transform and Workbook for Leaders who Transform Organizations will be published. In 2009 the next in the Transforming Power series, will be published with a title of Devotions for Transformational Leaders.
Hugh Ballou, Motivational Speaker, Leadership Trainer, Author
Orchestrating Success
How does a conductor of orchestras and choirs teach leadership – very enthusiastically! Hugh Ballou teaches leaders around the globe how to build synergy with teams and how to build effective processes that bring success to any organization – no matter how small or how big. “I travel around the country and around the world and find that you can change the name of the organization, the location and the type of structure and you will still have the same issues – leaders not leading effectively!
Ballou brings 40 years of experience as conductor to his leadership training. “I call the training Building High Performance Teams, but no one can produce effective teams without fine-tuned leadership skills. I teach business executives how an orchestra conductor brings out the best skill of the players that have been hired. The conductor is a dictator, however, if the conductor hires a good oboe player, then it’s best to let that oboe player use his or her skill rather than tell then how to play the oboe!” It sounds silly, however, leaders who micro-manage those whom they lead only receive a fraction of the performance that is ultimately possible. Let the team perform!
The skill set of planning for success, constructing powerful goals, and delegating with authority are consistent themes where many leaders underperform.
Ballou’s unique ability in inspire and motivate event the most difficult of audiences has made him the expert in the field of Transformational Leadership. Transformational Leaders build strong leaders on teams that are motivated, focused and highly effective in setting and implementing powerful goals.
As author of 5 books on Transformational Leadership, Ballou works as executive coach, process facilitator, trainer and motivational speaker teaching leaders in many diverse fields the fine-tune skills employed every day by orchestral conductors.
Moving Spirits, Building Lives: Church Musician as Transformational Leader
Moving Spirits, Building Lives: A Workbook for Transformational Leaders
Building High Performance Teams: Systems and Structures for Leading Teams
and Empowering Transformation
Leaders Transform: A Guide for Leaders Transforming Organizations
(September 2009)
For more information about Hugh Ballou – visit Book information is available at For full tour details, visit
A SPECIAL BONUS TO EACH PERSON WHO PURCHASES TRANSFORMING POWER TODAY – Hugh Ballou has compiled a list of great FREE bonus gifts for anyone who purchases Transforming Power today. To see a sample of the items that are being given away, visit Just buy a copy of Transforming Power, return to this page and click to submit your invoice number to receive the web page link to download all of these gifts for FREE.