The Art of Possibility - Notes

Give yourself an A – a practice that Ben Zander started on a university course on day 1. Give yourself an A and write down what you will need to do between now and graduation to deserve it. Opens up the idea of possibility and ownership – you can do this. Michelangelo talks about every block of marble containing a beautiful statue it simply needs to be set free.

‘A cynic is a passionate person who does not want to be disappointed again.’

Being a contribution. Every contribution is important it is not always about winning or losing or listing achievements but if you think what can I do today to make a contribution your efforts matter and make a difference.

P71-2 Anecdote told by Eugene Lehner violist of the Kolish Qartet coach to the Juilliard String Quartet – ‘how often I have consulted him on thorny points of interpretation – to have the scales removed from my eyes by his incandescent insight into the music!’ Lehner tells story of how a conducter named Koussevitsky was having trouble with a passage of Bach. Fortunately his friend the great French pedagogue and conductor Nadia Boulanger was sitting in on the rehearsal. Koussevitsky invited im to come up and conduct so he could go to the back of the hall and hear how it sounds. Ever since Lehner has been waiting for the conductor to say come up here and conduct I want to go to the back and hear how it sounds. It is 43 years since that happened but I have never had a dull moment in a rehearsal as I sit and wonder what I would say to the orchestra if I was suddenly called upon to lead. – ‘Lead from any chair’ Great leadership is about unleashing the talent and the greatness in others.

Remember Rule No 6 –‘don’t take yourself so goddam seriously’

2 Prime Ministers discussing foreign affairs…p79

Personality = a strategy for getting out of childhood alive – Frank Sulloway MIT Dept of Brain and cognitive sciences

Discussion of ‘calculating’ and central selfs – the former being all about striving for status and hierarchy the remnants of a long childhood where at some level insecurity and weakness are always lurking. Central self in contrast is generous, creative etc – example of the little girl at Auschwitz who found a single raspberry somewhere in the camp and carried it around all day in order at the end of the day to give it to her friend.

Accept the way things are, neither good nor bad, there is just the situation, accept it and be in it. (Stoic). Be the board not the pieces not about right and wrong blame or explanation.

Mistakes – ‘how fascinating’ embrace failure as a part of learning, you just got taught a lesson if you have the grace to accept it.

‘One Buttock playing’ – the importance of passion to not only know and understand the music but to interpret it and the energy around you

Enrolment – carry the spark of possibility for others to share, have a framework for creating possibility move from I to we.