Could you please help me understand the meaning of this quote? Does the writer mean to say that the leader has no companion and he is sort of cut off?
A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Hi Tom

I might suggest that the sense is this:
To ensure that something is done well, you must focus on the task at hand.

I also get the sense that although you may be ignoring many people while focusing on a task, those people will benefit from your focus in the end.
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Its quite simple.... If you want to take control and be the leader then you must not follow what the crowd is doing. In an orchestra the miestro or conductor is in charge of the band and he stands with his back against the audience (i.e. crowd). To lead is to do and direct. The audience behind you are following with the music that you are composing.

Afternoon Tom,

I think the author Max Lucado here wants to convey the message through the quote mentioned by you is that: if we want to lead a particular work or team or do mastery on something, then u need to forget of the credit that you'll get while or after doing that work. Coz it can also result in losing your total concentration over that work. And also I don't know your nationality but in our India, it is said that we should do our deeds without expecting for the result.

And it can also mean that, you learn or do something great; we need to distant ourselves from others...

This is what my lookout is towards this quote, sorry if it proves wrong:)

Ms. K. Rai...

To be a leader (a good one) you must not be swayed by the crowd (the outsiders - those who applaud when what is done suits their liking). To lead the orchestra (the group of which you are leader) you face them, work with them, come along side them and do what is right. You do not fall victim to working to please the crowd, those that might use your influence to gain the upper hand over the orchestra (those who place their trust in you as a leader.)

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