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The Art of Possibility

The Art of Possibility

4.4 30
by Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander

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ISBN-10: 0875847706

ISBN-13: 9780875847702

Pub. Date: 09/28/2000

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

The Art of Possibility offers a set of breakthrough practices for creativity in all human enterprises. This inspirational book is a synthesis of Rosamund Stone Zander's knowledge of cutting-edge psychology and Benjamin Zander's experiences as the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Infused with the energy of their dynamic partnership, the book


The Art of Possibility offers a set of breakthrough practices for creativity in all human enterprises. This inspirational book is a synthesis of Rosamund Stone Zander's knowledge of cutting-edge psychology and Benjamin Zander's experiences as the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Infused with the energy of their dynamic partnership, the book joins together Ben's extraordinary talent as a mover and shaker, teacher, and communicator with Rosamund's genius for creating innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment. In lively counterpoint, the authors provide us with a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of our lives.

The Zanders' deceptively simple practices are based on two premises: that life is composed as a story ("it's all invented") and that, with new definitions, much more is possible than people ordinarily think. The book shifts our perspective with uplifting stories, parables, and anecdotes. From "Giving an A" to the mysterious "Rule Number 6" to "Leading from Any Chair"--the account of Ben's stunning realization that the conductor/leader's power is directly linked to how much greatness he is willing to grant to others--each practice offers an opportunity for personal and organizational transformation.

Product Details

Harvard Business Review Press
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Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.89(d)

Table of Contents

An Invitation to Possibilityix
Launching the Journey1
The Practices
1It's All Invented8
2Stepping into a Universe of Possibility16
3Giving an A24
4Being a Contribution54
5Leading from Any Chair66
6Rule Number 678
7The Way Things Are98
8Giving Way to Passion112
9Lighting a Spark122
10Being the Board140
11Creating Frameworks for Possibility160
12Telling the WE Story180
About the Authors205

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The Art of Possibility 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Martothir More than 1 year ago
Don't mistake yourself and think this is a business philosophy book, or even a self help book. It's a life philosophy, pure and simple. I'm sure you could take all the practices mentioned by the Zanders and dryly go over them in a board meeting, but you'd miss the soul of the book. It's essentially about interacting with other human beings in a way that gives you fulfillment, and it that regard it is a wild success. It also is particularly poignant for the musicians. Benjamin Zander being a world renowned conductor and pedagogue, almost all of his lessons, taking the form of anecdotes and parables, are deeply moving and strongly relevant to an artist who seeks to move and audience and find the sublime form of his or her art. My only strong criticism of the book would be the distinctly different writing styles of Benjamin and Rosamund. I personally found the portions by Benjamin compelling, moving, tear jerking, and often unforgettable. And while the portions by Rosamund were often profound and effective, the distinct voice and writing style she used didn't always engage me as actively, and she often wrote in perpendiculars to how my mind thinks. That said, this is a must read for every introspective individual. I have no doubt it will be someday be a 'self help classic', as it were.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a certified life renewing coach who specializes in women going through transition, I found this book to be an exceptional tool for my clients. The author opens up a whole new world for women who are in search of their individual choices to the next chapter in their lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'. . . The objective of this book is to provide . . . the means to lift off from . . . struggle and sail into a vast universe of possibility.' Benjamin Zander is the conductor of The Boston Philharmonic and is well known for his orchestra's passionate performances. Rosamund Stone Zander is an executive coach, family therapist, and private practitioner who brings enormous psychological perspective to enhancing human behavior. They have written a fascinating book in which they alternate as voices in sharing principles and examples in the form of compelling stories. They have striven to make what they share ' . . . simple, not easy.' The idea is to help you create in yourself and in others 'transformational' improvements. They share a series of perspectives designed to improve your understanding of what and where the potential is. First, humans tend to focus on very few things, missing most of what is going on around them. By shifting focus, you will see many opportunities for the first time. Much of this book is designed to do that for you. You will visit our old friend the nine dot square and be reminded that connecting all of the dots in four lines without lifting your writing instrument from the paper requires you to go outside the box that we mentally draw at the circumference of the dots. Be careful about your assumptions! They can fence you in! Second, measurements can cause us to focus too narrowly on where we are today and encourage scarcity thinking -- the glass is half empty. The Zanders encourage thinking about the glass as half full, citing the well-known perspective of optimism as being empowering. This can help you 'step into a university of possibility.' I like to call this pursuing the ideal practice. Third, if you assume that people will do well and help them see how they can, they will. Mr. Zander gives every student an A in his class, and simply requests that the student write a paper to tell what they will do to deserve the A. This gets the students focused on excellence, and takes away the tension that harms accomplishment. Fourth, as a mindset, think of your role as 'being a contributor.' 'You are a gift to others.' How could that change what you do? As someone who thinks that way now, I find it a very useful perspective, and was glad to see it in the book. Fifth, lead from any chair. This is a reference to involving everyone. Mr. Zander asks his players to write down how he could improve practices and peformances, and pays attention to the suggestions. Sixth, follow rule number six. That rule is to 'lighten up.' Seventh, be present to the ways things are. Many of us are disconnected from reality. By re-touching it, we can see more possiblities. Eighth, give way to passion. Going with your strong feelings allows you to be more authentic, and to go to new heights of accomplishment. Ninth, light a spark. See you role as creating a spark of possibility to be lit that others can see. Tenth, be the board of the game you are playing. This makes it easier to see how you can make a difference. Eleventh, create a vision that generates 'frameworks of possibility' for others. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous 'I Have a Dream' speech is cited. Twelfth, tell the WE story. Focus on being inclusive and considering what is best for all. Move from I to We, as the Coda to the book encourages. Each section has exercises you can use to deepen your understanding of the principles and to help you practice, in order to create greater skill. The principles are similar to those in many other books about improving performance and creativity. What is different about the book are the unique ways that the principles are expressed, the exciting examples in beautiful stories from music and business that will be new to you (as they were to me), and the passion with which the Zanders write. I would love to hear them do this book on an audio cassette! Both do public speaking, so you may g
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to be mentally plugged in to read this book. Great ideas and perspectives. But you must committ.
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TEST NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
BUT barnes and noble doesnt decide the price, the publishers do. Get upset with the publisher not the middle man that cannot make the change without inciting a lawsuit. Infact, barnes and noble as a publisher has been known to price books very cheap and a lot of times free on the nook. Having that said, the book is amazing. Worth whatever price it sits at.
Jana Tift More than 1 year ago
Brilliant and inspiring. Nook price almost double Kindle. Hmmm...
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best inspirational books that I have read. The metaphors drawn from his musical experience are insightful, especially if you have some musical performance background of your own from which to draw comparisons. I had the opportunity to hear Maestro Zander speak and his book closely follows the concepts of his speaking engagement. Frankly, the enthusiasm of his presentation helps to bring the book more alive. However, the nook pricing for this book is ridiculously high.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy books in this genre and i must say that this book is the best of the bunch. as a musician i enjoy the anecdotes and soties, as a business man i love the 'longline' of vision thats created and as a human i love the way it makes me feel after every time i open the pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Family therapist Rosamund Stone Zander and symphony conductor Benjamin Zander offer 12 practices for learning to take on an attitude of abundance and possibility. You will enjoy Benjamin Zander¿s charming anecdotes from his experiences as a distinguished orchestra conductor, as well as the philosophy of family therapist Rosamund Stone Zander whose professional background gives her a deeply insightful viewpoint. Indeed, some of the Zanders¿ stories are so striking that they will stay with you long after you put the book down. We recommend this book to people who like to explore self-development, story lovers, music aficionados, anyone who has taken on a big commitment and other creative types who will savor the authors¿ unusual frame of reference.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Possibility has always been a weak word in our society. Will this solution work? Possibly. Might I get a raise? Possibly. This amazing book looks at possibility in a wholly different way, as a vast universe of delightful surprise, waiting. Its overarching principles bestride all other self-help books out there like a colossus. I feel that I really only need this book. Absolutely neutral in doctrine, anyone can ignite his or her spiritual life with its principles, regardless of one's particular faith or creed. Once I overcame my own feelings of loss and regret at how much of my life has already been spent in the downward spiral, even the merest comprehension of what is truly possible now guides me, always glimmering, just beyond the next bend¿..
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I visited a cello recital, I had a chance to feel the music not just with my ears, but with my entire body. And while some opt for being together in partnership or in singleship without feeling or focus or too much feeling and too much focus, there is a looser-coupling that the Zanders' show by example that works for them! Where through creation, they make a way in which they both sow and reap.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is abosolutely amazing. Not only does it apply to my field, music, but it has helped me out in my everyday life as well. The intricacies and personal attention the Zanders have given to each and every detail are so real, human, and can make connections with the most puzzling of people! Definately an instruction book for life!