The Musical Life

Exploring the intersections between music, learning, and leadership development with Paul Kwiecinski

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Paul Kwiecinski
Founder at Face The Music, a pioneer of experiential learning, and a passionate musician.

Paul Kwiecinski shares stories and insights from his journey using music to create transformational learning experiences for business leaders.




Meeting at a Disaster Response Bootcamp

Paul and I met in Utah at a disaster response bootcamp held by the Field Innovation Team. The bootcamp taught disaster preparedness skills, and served to recruit first responder volunteers. Paul facilitated a team building activity that challenged us to write and perform a song about disaster response. Having never written or performed before, our group was thrust into unfamiliar territory. It forced us to become resourceful, think creatively, and the experience created real opportunities for us to bond.

How Do Humans Experience Music?

I wanted to ask Paul what he thought about the experience of music. I had heard Ray Kurzweil talk about how making music is unique to humans (Ray says other animals can't keep a beat, although there might still be debate). I have also experienced deep emotional responses connected with musical experience. Here's what Paul had to say.

How Does A Musician End Up In Consulting?

As with many career stories Paul's is part serendipity, part deliberate effort, part I have to provide for my kids now.

Face The Music

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Face The Music is a collaboration between great musicians and experienced organizational consultants. The experiences they create have been transformative across leadership development, team work, and organizational change projects across a broad range of organizations. Paul founded Face The Music in 1999.

The Value of Discomfort in Leadership Development

Paul and Face The Music have worked with a broad range of corporations, and often times they engage with leadership development programs. Getting emerging leaders feeling challenged, and uncomfortable is an important aspect of casting forth into a leadership development journey.

The Understated Importance of Self-Identity

Many of us don't identify as being creative or being musically talented, to the degree that trying to get up on stage and sing is absolutely frightening. How can we shift identity enough to get people to try, and in so trying, opening up to the possibility of growth?

How to Incite a Breakthrough

Paul shares a story about a pair of executives who take the plunge, sing on stage, and make their own personal breakthroughs.

On Trust and Masks

What makes trust arise in a work relationship? In exploring trust Paul shares the concept of putting on a mask at work, and the cost that imposes, and how we can begin to move beyond them to an authentic and genuine relations.

Awakening Abilities That People Already Have

Paul brought up the point that whene you're teaching, often times you're really just giving people the chance to tap into something they already have within them. Bobby McFerrin demonstrated this at the World Science Festival to applause and laughter. Here's the link:

The Philosophical Question

Paul and I enjoy the philosophical question, with a little help from Alan Watts. All things considered, at the end of the day, is life itself musical?