Further inspiration: The Art of Possibility & Base-Jumping Models

Last year, I fell in love with the SPCA Auckland Driving Dogs.  They inspired us to do and be more than is expected, and the SPCA Auckland team inspires us in their creative approach, visioning and commitment.

Recently, two completely different teams have shaken my snowglobe, and I'm better for it: my perspective is expanded: Zander and Zander; and Roberta Mancino and her crew of base-jumping fashion models.

Zander and Zander
While attending the LeadingAge Colorado conference last year [see here for the LeadingAge National conference last year], one of the keynote speakers shared an excerpt from Benjamin Zander's documentary, Leadership: An Art of Possibility:

And I recently had the great delight to read Rosamund Zander and Benjamin Zander's, The Art of Possibility, featuring their key "practices" of leadership - no matter your position in the orchestra, your job title, or status.  In particular, Zander and Zander's practice of "Giving the A" created a paradigm shift for me:

Benjamin, among his other endeavors, is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and teacher of highly adept classical musicians.  He has a practice of "giving the A" to each of his students at the start of class.  But his exercise is more than we've heard elsewhere: it is a vision-building practice in which he requires that his students write him a letter at the start of the course, dated for the end of the course, explaining why they earned their A grade. 

"In writing their letters, I say to them, they are to place themselves in the future, looking back, and to report on all the insights they acquired and milestones they attained during the year as if those accomplishments were already in the past... I tell them, 'I am especially interested in the person you will have become by next May.'"

As the Zander's further develop their concept of Giving the A, we discover that it extends to our relationships.  For example, "The practice of Giving the A allows the teacher to line up with her students in their efforts to produce the outcome, rather than lining up with the standards against these students. ... The instructor and the student, or the manager and the employee, become a team for accomplishing the extraordinary."  And, "The freely granted A expresses a vision of partnership, teamwork, and relationship.  It is for wholeness and functionality."

Roberta Mancino
And in a completely different vein, Roberta Mancino, Italian model and base-jumper, and her team have expanded the beautiful and daring beyond anything conceivable: 


So much more than an awe-inspiring vid, Mancino asks us to stretch beyond the assumptions of possibility.  Take the leap, be original, be bold.


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