In the days of digital music, downloadable tunes and streaming options, today’s savvy listener no longer has to fiddle with the dials on stereos to find the right station or sound quality. Today’s astute listener has an ear for well-mixed tracks and sophisticated audio beds. Taking the Oscar this year for best sound mixing was the film Bohemian Rhapsody. Regardless of your taste in music, the appreciation of the effort, talent, and genius of songwriting, production and editing was well deserved for this body of work. Come on, who didn’t think this band and song was CRAZY the first time they heard “GALILEO, GALILEO, GALILEO figaro magnifico”! When I first heard a Queen song, I was a kid in the 80’s and invested hours upon hours listening to my (what is now considered vintage) stereo. I was fascinated by how you could turn the treble dial and how the sound would change. Then, by turning the bass dial a whole different sound would thud. You could find a perfect balance for the bass and treble for one song but then when the next song came on, it would need a little more finagling to get right. Of course, the center for all the dials was the safe zone for most songs. Our workplaces aren’t too dissimilar. As a leader for many years and applying a positive, strengths-based approach to leadership and operational excellence, I have noticed that to turn the volume up on your employees, you get a much better output when the other dials are in their proper position. The position of the dials has a significant impact on the quality of the sound– much as they do as the quality of your operational output. The dials should work together, in harmony, to produce the best effect. If processes, systems, and structures are like dials on the stereo, the employees are like the volume. Turning one dial without considering the other, will lead to a disappointing outcome- and likely something that makes you want to cover your ears. All of the dials impact the other – either positively or negatively. Strike the right balance on these knobs and you’ll be singing opera too!