Leadership: Awakening Possibility In Others, by Benjamin Zander

While it may not be common to associate orchestra direction with leadership, ace musician Benjamin Zander draws an interesting parallel that offers a fresh perspective on how we define leadership. While conducting one of the orchestras, Zander had an epiphany that even though he was completely silent, he was awakening possibilities in others and entrusting them with the abundant power they had in themselves. He later went on to apply this principle in his teaching methodology. By giving every student an ‘A’ in the beginning of the year and by asking them to describe how they would see themselves a year from now, he freed them of the shackles of anxiety, competition and the fear of making mistakes. This, he believes, transformed the entire dynamic of the student-teacher relationship and created room for growth and creativity.

This 9-minute talk by Benjamin Zander at the Davos Annual Meeting in 2008 will perhaps motivate us to reconsider how we perceive our roles as leaders, and in the process redefine relationships we have with people around us.

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