The Art of Possibility: Transformational Leadership

transformational_leadership Leadership Benjamin_ZanderOptimism and resilience are the two qualities most sought by employers.  Does this mean we are seeking unrealistic Pollyanna types?  No. The ideal optimist fearlessly faces reality – deliberately uncovering and facing unpleasant facts – while maintaining the course. They are not deflated by obstacles.

One particular book on this topic, The Art of Possibility, has served me well for years. I find myself drawn to it again and again.  Here is a favorite excerpt from the book:

The practice featured in this chapter helps one invent and sustain frameworks that bring forth possibility. It is about restructuring meanings, creating visions, and establishing environments where possibility is spoken — where the buoyant force of possibility overcomes the pull of the downward spiral.

The steps to the practice of framing possibility are:

1. Make a new distinction in the realm of possibility: one that is a powerful substitute for the current framework of meaning that is generating the downward spiral.

2. Enter the territory. Embody the new distinction in such a way that it becomes the framework for life around you.

3. Keep distinguishing what is “on the track” and what is “off the track” of your framework for possibility.

I recommend this book to anyone who aspires to transformational leadership.


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