What if you already had an A?

Continuing this month’s tour of my favorite book pile, today we’re thumbing through my well-worn copy of The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. I wrote about this book in my article about creating a culture of appreciation – something the Zanders do beautifully.

Benjamin Zander is a cellist, composer, conductor and teacher. In his classroom, you earn an A just for showing up. Zander explains to his students at the beginning of the year that he’s already given them an A and now they just need to keep it.

This is similar to Michelangelo’s description of his process of sculpting his great work, David. He explained that David was already there, he just chipped away the stone that was covering him up.

I also enjoyed Zander’s Rule #6: Don’t take yourself so seriously. This speaks to the important practice of lightening up!

Whether he’s in front of an orchestra or a classroom, Zander strives to generate a spark of possibility that everyone can share. This is another important practice: enrollment.

Finally, I love how this book expresses an expression of an attitude of abundance (versus scarcity).

What would you do differently today if you already had an A?

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J. Val Hastings

J. Val Hastings, MCC, is the Founder and President of Coaching4Clergy, which provides specialized training for pastors, church leaders and coaches. Val is the author of the book The Next Great Awakening: How to Empower God’s People with a Coach Approach to Ministry and the e-book The E3-Church: Empowered, Effective and Entrepreneurial Leadership That Will Keep Your Church Alive. Val currently holds the designation of Master Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, the highest coaching designation.

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