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Storytelling for Maestros

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Be wary of those who romanticize the glory of war, having never maneuvered within a battlefield themselves. Do you know how to distinguish a propagandist from a Maestro?


The “Maestro” is a master with their gifts and strengths who can parlay their talents with others through teaching, coaching, and mentoring. The "Maestro" invests in others and builds up the body of the whole by provisioning the individual.


If the role of the "Shepherd" in the Innovation Value Chain is primarily to navigate the flock through the chaos. The role of any "Conductor" is to give form to chaos. "Conductors" know how to turn the levers of individual chords to create harmony from disharmony. A "Maestro" is differentiated from a "Conductor" by the currency of their influence. They have earned respect through mastering their gifts and helping others go farther with their own. One may know they are in the presence of a "Maestro" when they are compelled by some intangible intrinsic motivator, to rise and deliver to their fullest potential. The "Maestro" gives form to structure by leading in, teaching, coaching and mentoring.

The Myth

Be wary of those who romanticize over righteous causes and the glory of war, having never endured or maneuvered within a battlefield themselves. There are only positions to take and roles to play when mustering against chaos. Beyond that, the comparisons to business stop at conduct with prevailing rules of engagement, laws, and governing treaties.


There is a myth about Sergeants. It suggests they are brutes, prodding other brutes only through their sheer blunt force. This could not be farther from the truth in the U.S. Army. These veteran soldiers rise through the ranks of the enlisted while becoming "Maestros". At some point, those who achieve becoming expert tacticians have the opportunity to pivot. Some go farther in specializing with their specific craft by becoming Warrant Officers. Some cross over to join the Commissioned Officers in leadership and planning roles. Those who remain in direct teaching, coaching, and mentoring roles with soldiers might progress onward to become Sergeant Majors. Sergeant Majors and Chief Warrant Officers are both "Maestros" in their own right. But, the Sergeant Major can ascend to become Command Sergeant Major. The Command Sergeant Major is the right-hand, most senior advisor to a high commander of 600 or more soldiers. Many people won’t know that this figure will have risen while investing and spending far more time on the battlefield and with direct leadership over warfighters than any Commander.

The Story

I first observed the practice of herding while serving in Iraq as a young U.S. Army Lieutenant in 2008. I recognized the methods of the shepherd, fortifying the flock by maneuvering formations alongside "Guardian" forces. I noted the strategies for navigating and traversing around some of the most challenging environmental factors. I saw the shepherd never acted alone. Recall in “Storytelling for Shepherds”, we clarified the myth about “mindless” sheep. By creating linkages and alignment between their allies and veteran sheep, shepherds maneuvered as a single body in a smart network. I drew parallelisms between the driver personalities I could pick out in a herd and the Sergeants in my platoon. On their path to becoming "Maestros", these "Conductor" personas were adept at both aiding and disciplining an individual soldier. Likewise, I observed veteran and astute sheep in the flock maneuvering with this same purpose and tact. It was not the dog or the shepherd that would organize the sheep, or keep a formation. That was the task of the veteran "Conductor".


I noted the repetition of these roles and progressive arrangement of strengths moving up the organizational structure in the U.S. Army. I realized how essential these "Conductors" and "Maestros" were in giving form to structure. They forged the pathways from the microcosm to the macrocosm and effectively formed the cohesive corps. In their capacity to build-up, a soldier or a unit, the “Conductors” and “Maestros” organized chaos.


What We Do

Shepherds, you can take on many roles in the Innovation Value Chain. You might play Business Development Manager and assemble a value stream with your efforts. Or, you might take on a specific endeavor to found a start-up. But regardless of the position you take up, you will need to be able to find your "Conductors'' and "Maestros". Acorders suggests calibrating your instruments to assess and prioritize quality teaching, coaching, and mentoring skills over the mere managerial.

Join our community and participate in the design process with us. Acorders is building a digital experience for storytellers of impact. We are creating the infrastructure for each actor to access their best possible playing field. Are you a "Maestro", let us help you find a good "Shepherd". Designers, Innovators, Problem-solvers, are you working with a "Maestro"? Start telling your story with Acorders and let us help connect you with that person who can bring more out of you while giving form to structure and organizing chaos.

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