Benjamin Zander – The power of standing in possibility: Leadership and the transformative role of music 

What type of leader do you want to be? 

Some leaders are like black holes that suck the passion and self-belief out of their teams. While others are unsure of how to enrol their teams into a greater vision.

Benjamin Zander is not one of these leaders. He is remarkable in the way he calls out the passion and possibilities in his teams. He wants to see your eyes shine!

His unique approach as the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra has elevated him to the level of leadership guru. He is awarded by the UN, has spoken at Davos, is a bestselling author with his wife, and his TED Talks have been seen by tens of millions. 

On today’s Inside Influence Podcast episode, we talk to Benjamin Zander about how to lead from the position of possibility.

Today’s Guest Benjamin Zander

Benjamin Zander was born in Buckinghamshire England after his parents fled Nazi Germany in 1937. 

At age 12, Zander became the youngest member of the British National Youth Orchestra. At 15, he moved to Italy to study under master cellist Gaspar Cassadó

After completing a degree in English Literature at the University of London, he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to study in the US. 

Moving to Boston he joined the New England Conservatory of Music in 1967 and began his career as a conductor.

 In 1978 he founded the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra where he continues to conduct to this day. In 2012, he founded the Boston Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has over 11 recordings with the Boston Philharmonic and has been nominated for a Grammy multiple times. He is acclaimed for his interpretations of Mahler and Beethoven.

In 2000, he released “The Art of Possibility” co-authored with his wife Rosamund Stone Zander, therapist and executive coach. The book became a bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages. The book looks at how leadership and personal development can foster creativity and growth.

His Ted Talk ”The Transformative Power of Classical Music”  has been seen and shared by over 20 million people. 

He is a sought after speaker on leadership and classical music. 

In 2002, he was awarded the “Caring Citizen of the Humanities Award” by the United Nations.

He was also awarded the Crystal Award for “Outstanding Contributions in the Arts and International Relations” by the Davos World Economic Forum


Facebook: OfficialBenjaminZander

Twitter:  @BenjaminZander

LinkedIn: benjaminzander

“The conductor of an orchestra is the only musician that doesn’t make a sound but he has a lot of power. But the power comes entirely from his ability to make other people powerful”

“A cynical person is a passionate person who does not want to be disappointed again.”

“Look for love and the courage will come.”

You’ll learn

  • Why choosing to stand in possibility is the greatest discipline of life – and the impact that choice can have on not only those around us, but also some of the greatest challenges we currently face as a global community.
  • How to overcome the voice of negativity
  • How to know if you are leading well
  • That there is always a pathway to possibility
  • How to bring out someone’s best performance
  • The failure of not believing that people are up to a task
  • What are the two voices we all hear
  • The art of enrolment – how to put out a call to your team or followers. One that is so grippingly honest and compelling – that only the brave of heart will step forward. 
  • What it means to be an interpreter within your space – and why sometimes it involves apologising for the times we fail to get others to enrol.
  • And finally – why there are always two people playing the violin – the first being the player – and the second being the voice inside their head. And what the most accomplished musicians in the world do when that voice gets unhelpful.

References and links mentioned

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