Virginia Tech’s legendary band director David McKee offers insight on building a leadership team to drive organizational culture and excellence
Arlington, Va., September 29, 2021 – Eagle Hill Consulting has released the latest episode of it podcast, culture[ED], which helps business leaders create business cultures that drive performance. Episode Two of Season Three features Dave McKee, the legendary band director of Virginia Tech’s Marching Virginians from 1986 until 2018.
Under Dave’s leadership, the Marching Virginians established themselves as a nationally respected marching band with a culture of professional musicianship, high-energy performance and public service. During the podcast, McKee provides insight on building a leadership team that can shape and sustain a strong organizational culture, as well as the importance of strong relationships in keeping team members engaged and inspired. Dave also shared poignant insight on how the band endured the tragic 2007 mass shooting on campus. Among the 32 victims, one was a member of the band.
“It takes responsibility and dedication for students to serve in the band. At the same time, it’s no easy feat to keep 350 college students engaged and performing at a high level,” says Melissa Jezior, the host of culture[ED] and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting. “Dave is an example of how culture and expectations are set at the top. By empowering student leaders, Dave’s Marching Virginians always hit their mark, delivering creative and energetic performances. Dave also is an example of how to lead with empathy and heart during a tragedy,” Jezior said.
Unlike many other academic institutions, the Marching Virginians are volunteers, serving without scholarships. The band rehearses 90 minutes daily to prepare a different show for each home game, plus pre-season practices. The Marching Virginians march more than 65,000 miles, or three times around the world, in any season.
“People matter most,” McKee says. “With any group, leaders have to show that everyone is important, everyone is valued. It’s about trust and treating people with dignity and respect.” He also says that building strong relationships with the entire team is vital to success. “There are businesses that go the other way, with leaders so busy that they forget the people below them.”
Listen to the interview and subscribe to the podcast here.
cultur[ED] features conversations with top culturemakers in the world today from a variety of industries and backgrounds to unpack the visible and not-so-visible forces that make up this often overlooked super power of an organization.
Season One provided insight on how business leaders apply culture and mindset practices implemented by top athletes and coaches, and included interviews with two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach, along with Victoria Blake, Anson Dorrance, Lindsay Henson and Cathy Reese. Season Two focused on the challenges facing the restaurant industry, especially during COVID-19, and included interviews with Virginia Ali, founder of the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl, and award-winning chefs Amy Brandwein and Kelly Fields, Charlie Foster and Rebecca Reed. Season Three focuses on the arts industry, with the first episode featuring award-winning film producer, writer and director Hugh Schulze.
Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.
Media Contact: Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @WeAreEagleHill