Carlos del Cueto

Carlos joined Leading Teams after more than twenty years working as a high performing leader of diverse teams. A key part of his experience has been in classical music as a conductor of orchestras, choirs and operas, both in Europe and Australia. For many years Carlos also played key roles managing educational and organisational projects in the non-profit sector, facilitating culture change initiatives, and serving as keynote speaker.

Having lived in five countries and holding a PhD from the University of Cambridge, Carlos’s interests are wide-ranging: from organisational culture and leadership to wine tasting, from Indian mystical philosophies to tennis.

How would you like to be described by your family, friends, and clients?

As great company with whom real, meaningful conversation flows easily, comfortably and joyfully.

What is your favourite piece of leadership advice, or quote?

An idea that has been expressed in different ways by thinkers across many cultures and contexts. Here’s a version from an Indian scriptural text: “Only he who obeys can command.” Or, from Benjamin Franklin: “He that cannot obey, cannot command.”

Again and again, I have seen that the best followers in turn make the best leaders, and vice-versa. I believe much of this has to do with how skilled leaders and followers alike remain connected to a higher purpose and commit to modelling the behaviour that best serves their teams in realising that purpose.

What does success look like with a client?

There is something so powerful about those moments when you can see “the penny drop”, when someone realises or sees something about themselves and their actions for the first time, something that they could not previously see. Each of these “a-ha” moments is success; the incremental changes that flow from them are far-reaching, both for the person and for the people around them.
Ultimately, our gold standard for success is when a client begins to consider us as a highly valuable business partner. This typically takes place some time after the initial, foundational work we do at the outset, as team performance optimises and we work out – together – the specific way that our partnership is capable of adding great value to their business. Each partnership is unique, so the specifics of the partnership look a little different in each case.

Tell us about your culture and leadership experience?

In addition to conducting groups of musicians of all shapes and sizes, I have produced and directed in-person events, live broadcasts, studio recordings, and led organisational and culture change projects. For a time, I even directed a team of cooks! I have been able to step into these roles because the same principles for effective leadership apply across the board. Over the years I have been a student – an investigator – into both the innerworkings of the mind, and of how to draw out the best from the people I lead. Leading well requires a lot of hard work, but there is little as rewarding as watching a fully empowered team grow into the best possible version of themselves.