The New York Times called Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber the most commercially successful composer in history. He’s the man behind The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show on Broadway that has grossed over $6 billion in revenue during its run.

So, if you were a producer who had the opportunity to invest in another show by Webber featuring the same Phantom characters, chances are that you would have invested. It would have been a mistake. Love Never Dies was a flop, and never made it to Broadway at all.

Despite all of his successes — Webber composed a number of hits that were on Broadway for years, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Sunset Boulevard – he also had a litany of shows that never became mainstream: Starlight Express, Whistle Down the Wind and Aspects of Love. His By Jeeves was so bad that it closed after just a month in London, but Sir Webber kept writing music and still has multiple shows on Broadway today.

The only sure-fire formula that guarantees success is perseverance. Your chances of doing great work improve by producing a lot of work and continually learning from it. Keep making music, even if some of what you produce seems a bit off-key.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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