Ben Zander: The Art of Possibility

Ben ZanderThere are two worlds, and it is our choice which one we choose to live in. The first is “downward spiral” and the normal life we live consisting of competition, pressure and limits. The second world is expansive and “radiates possibilities.”

Ben Zander, an acclaimed teacher, visionary and the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra brought this message to the Radio City Music Hall’s stage at the World Business Forum in New York City. Zander, author of The Art of Possibility, believes that we often find ourselves in the “downward spiral” but can open the world of possibilities with a change of language and a new viewpoint.

Even as a conductor (the last bastion of totalitarianism), Zander challenges the “old style” of top down, hierarchical management with the need for a “new style” of engaging people and teams in a vision and direction while encouraging them forward. Your job as a leader is “to awaken the possibilities in others - and “to remind the players of what the rhythm of transformation is.” It is not to tell them what to do or think.

You will know that you are succeeding “if their eyes are shining,” said Zander. Teams that are exploring the possibilities are positive, challenging and engaging. Team members will exhibit energy and openness to challenge their limits and open the possibilities. As a leader, if you are not “seeing their shining eyes,” ask yourself “who am I being that is limiting them from the possibilities?”

Read the rest of what Ben Zander had to say at the World Business Forum…

William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Marketing Content Manager, where he is responsible for developing engaging career, job search, and leadership insight and delivering executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand. Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework.

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