Enrollment Managers as Conductors


For several years, I’ve been using an analogy to describe the role of an effective enrollment manager. Rather than only being “boots on the ground”, the enrollment manager can be thought of as a conductor. 

A conductor is responsible for knowing the music, the audience, and the players. The role requires the ability to see the big picture as well as track details. The conductor must know which players need more rehearsal time, which work well together, who needs more encouragement and who needs a more hands-off approach. They must understand when to speed up and when to slow down, when to increase or decrease volume. They must “read” the audience and consider how or if to respond to the energy of a room.

As the enrollment manager, this may sound familiar, idealistic, or scary. Perhaps you are more like a player, keeping the movement going. Or, perhaps this sounds very much like what you are already doing, but don’t have the time you need to do it well. Being able to keep this 30,000 foot view is not only a nice-to-have, it is a necessary part of being effective as the strategic leader of enrollment efforts.

Take a few minutes this week to evaluate where you are serving as a conductor effectively, and where you might be able to adjust your resources to more successfully conduct. You might start by looking at your calendar, and blocking out some time to reflect and plan the concert, or by studying your players and honestly assessing how well you are coaching them. This is time well spent as you move forward. Let me know what you learn!