Food for Thought-Leadership Lessons from Antonio Stradivari


What makes a Stradivarius so special?

1. Stradivari is considered to have been the finest maker of stringed instruments the world has ever seen. In a lifetime spanning the mid 17th to 18th centuries, he made over 1000 violins, cellos, and violas. The quality of the sound has been variously attributed to the type of wood used (an available to him) as well as various chemical treatments he may have used to protect the wood from woodworm. Stradivari used the best available resources to make his masterpieces. He knew how and where to start. Are we using the best resources we have available to create the masterpieces in our life? Do we cultivate the young saplings in churches, organizations, families in order to build something that will stand the test of time? Have we identified ways to protect our resources from decay? Are we encouraging Sabbath practices, prayer, and common fellowship?

2. The shape of an instrument will determine much about its eventual sound. Stradivari knew that his violin, violas, and cellos would be played in some of the largest concert halls (and palaces) of Europe. The challenge was to create an instrument which could project the sound but also allow for subtle expressions to be heard. It’s one thing to be heard, it’s another listen to the nuances in Bach’s cello concertos. A good stringed instrument must be able to do both. How about us? Can we speak to be heard, but still convey the emotion, pathos, joy, and sorrow of everyday life? That’s a skill which takes fine tuning which means we take the time to listen to ourselves. How do we sound? Do we come across as shrill and impatient? Does the world hear us as out of tune? Thankfully, we can be brought back on key, in pitch, and in harmony with the world around us.