Studying leadership is a very elusive undertaking. Understanding business leadership seems to be governed by the Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty: "The more precisely the POSITION is determined, the less precisely the MOMENTUM is known."
So, what is left to do for the student in business leadership, other than apprenticeship? HBR and its likes do a good job at giving one angles. Yet, few such proxies come as close to offering a meaningful metaphor about business leadership as music making. For my taste, of organization and music, jazz and classical will do. Let us proceed with some illustrations.
Take the case of a conductor. When dealing with a symphony, the conductor resembles very much your typical CEO. The metaphor changes when the conductor deals with a concert; the interplay with the soloist(s) becomes like the interaction between the CEO and the board or the CEO and a powerful president (of the board maybe.) Claudio Abbado, Herbert Karajan, and Sergiu Celibidache are just three examples of conductors--soft-, autocratic-, all encompassing-leadership, respectively.
With chamber music, you deal with a type of leadership from within. This is the case with consulting partnerships or teams with people at about the same levels of authority and experience. Dependence path is everything here.
In jazz, there are also a few models. The whole idea behind jazz--improvisation, swing, spontaneity, creativity on the move, etc.--corresponds nicely to the smaller entities (e.g. start-ups, workgroups.) Leadership in jazz comes in a few flavors. For example, Miles Davis is the all might and power derived from the authority of his knowledge and creativity. This type knows when and why to come in strongly or let things evolve on their own. John Coltrane is the ever present leader, almost a factotum of the group. This is the type that is all about his idea and ways of doing things. They turn ideas into start-ups. Mingus on the other hand is the type of leadership the exercises authority from behind, he's there only for those who know where/how to listen, he's the ultimate enabler. Jazz epitomizes, musically, the task oriented ad-hoc teams.
Obviously, chamber music and jazz usually offer metaphors applicable to smaller teams whose membership is similar in skills and culture.
For illustrations, have a look at the myriad of DVD's on musical subjects. Especially valuable, one is likely to find those that explain the mechanics of conducting by taking the viewer through a rehearsal. Click here to find a link to a wealth of sources on: Conductors and music making, as leadership metaphors!
Enjoy, and happy session-jamming out of Heisenberg-types of uncertainty!