Posts Tagged ‘Women in European Business’

The Power of the Possiblity

May 13, 2009
Benjamin Zander - radiating possibility

Benjamin Zander - radiating possibility

I’m inspired. I was optimistic before, but now I’m really optimistic.

I went to an amazing event last night: Deutche Bank’s Women in European Business conference, a gathering of some 2,000 women (and a few men). One of the speakers was Boston Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Benjamin Zander. He is one of the most sought after speakers on the subject of leadership in the world, appearing recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, TED and, several years ago, he received the UN’s ‘Caring Citizen of the Humanities Award’. At first I was a bit confused as to why the closing speaker at an event celebrating European business women was a man…but once he started talking I knew why…

Ben is a sprightly, older gentleman. British. Tufty white hair. He has a boundless energy and gift for storytelling and motivation. He and his wife Rosamund have recently authored a book called ‘The Art of Possibility’. Ben talked excitedly last night about awakening possibility in other people. He spoke of how many people are caught in a downward spiral rather than radiating possibility – especially today. All it takes is a slight change in outlook and attitude, he said, to change everything. “My job is to remind people what the rhythm of transformation is,” Ben said. He described to us the grading system for the classes he teaches. Most unusually, he gives each student an ‘A’ grade on day one of class, provided they write him a letter describing the person they will be at the end of the term who is deserving of these top marks. He says, “When you give an ‘A’, the relationship is transformed. We treat the person we give an ‘A’ to totally different than the person we give a ‘C minus‘ to.” How true this is! If we just give people encouragement, a boost, a bit of confidence… it goes such a long way.

To underscore this point, I’ll also share a quote Fabio posted on Twitter the other day from Voltaire: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Seems the world’s leading thinkers have really figured it out! We could all learn a few things from them for sure.

The illustrious conductor in closing, quoted his wife Ros, saying, “Possibility is always only one sentence away.”

So what are you waiting for… appreciate someone today! www.ilikeucoz.com