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The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by [Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander]
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The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 551 ratings

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Length: 218 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Grade Level: 12 and up

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From Booklist

Rosamund Stone Zander is a family therapist and Benjamin Zander is the conductor for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, whom Morley Safer called "the energizer bunny of classical music" when 60 Minutes profiled him. So what are this former husband and wife doing writing a book for the Harvard Business School? Actually, Benjamin is a popular draw on the motivational seminar circuit. In his talks, he uses music and conducting as symbols for creativity and leadership, and he frequently ends a presentation with a rousing group-sing of "Ode to Joy." Instead of issuing well-worn nostrums such as "think outside the box," the pair warns that "incremental changes that lead to new ways of doing things based on old beliefs" will not result in transformation. The change they prescribe requires nothing less than a "total shift of posture, perceptions, beliefs, and thought processes." They use the arts, their own multifaceted experiences, and their boundless energy to show just how renewal can take place. David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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The lure of this book's promise starts with the assumption in its title: The Art of Possibility. Possibility--that big, all-encompassing, wide-open-door concept--is an art? Well, who doesn't want to be a skilled artist, whether in the director's chair, the boardroom, on the factory floor, or even just in dealing with life's everyday situations? Becoming an artist, however, requires practice, and what the authors of The Art of Possibility offer is a set of practices designed to "initiate a new approach to current conditions, based on uncommon assumptions about the nature of the world".

If that sounds a little too airy-fairy for you, don't be put off; this is no mere self-improvement book, with a wimpy mandate to simply transform its readers into "nicer" people. Instead, it's a collection of illustrations and advice that suggest a way to change your entire outlook on life and, in the process, open up a new realm of possibility. Consider, for example, the practice of "Giving an A", whether to yourself or to others. Not intended as a way to measure someone's performance against standards, this practice instead recognises that "the player who looks least engaged may be the most committed member of the group", and speaks to their passion rather than their cynicism. It creates possibility in an interaction, and does away with power disparities to unite a team in its efforts to produce an outcome. Or consider "Being the Board," where instead of defining yourself as a playing piece, or even as the strategist, you see yourself as the framework for the entire game. In this scenario, assigning blame or gaining control becomes futile, while seeking to become an instrument for effective partnerships becomes possible.

Packed with such examples of personal and professional interactions, the book presents complex ideas on perception and recognition in a readable, useable style. The authors' combined, eclectic experience in music and painting (as well as family therapy and executive workshops) infuses their examples with vibrant colour and sound. The relevance to corporate situations and relationships is well developed, and they don't rely on dry case studies to do it. Indeed, this book assumes the readers' emotional intelligence and desire to engage, promising access to the rewards of that door-opening notion--possibility--in return. --S. Ketchum --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
551 customer ratings
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Reviewed in Canada on January 24, 2015
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Top international reviews

G. Chaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2014
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Steven Unwin
5.0 out of 5 stars A source of inspiration
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2009
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and positive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2015
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Richard Stowey
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2006
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and practical
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 20, 2013
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, readability could be better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2010
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Dominik d'Entrecasteaux
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2019
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nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2020
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Pete B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2011
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Mr. N. A. McKee
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotive and Inspiring
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2014
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David
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2017
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Active Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite books. Love it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2013
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Mariella Mejia
4.0 out of 5 stars A game changer.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibilities worth thinking about
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2015
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paul f
4.0 out of 5 stars ... one reading to fully appreciate this book but still enjoyed it and found it useful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2017
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