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Dealing With Your Predecessor

July 9, 2010

Unless you’re starting your program from scratch, you’re going to have trouble living up to your predecessor. If the person was incompetent, people will be demoralized and it’ll be hard to convince them it’s a good idea to do a show. If the person was wonderful, there will be a group of people that you’ll never be able to please. But whether you think your predecessor was great or terrible, you must never say anything negative about them if you can possibly avoid it. If someone comes up to you and says, So-and-so had a better way of doing it, don’t disagree, just say how you’re planning on doing it, and why. If someone comes up and says they love your way, and tries to bait you into saying something bad about the previous person, don’t take the bait. Just thank them for their compliment and change the subject. The thing is, nobody tries to do a bad job music directing. Some do it well; others leave something to be desired. But no good can come of trying to make your predecessor look bad. And you can get a reputation if you badmouth people. Hopefully your successor will be as kind to you as you have been to your predecessor.

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