The book The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander has altered the ways countless people have lived their lives both at home and at work. The lessons imparted in this landmark book can also be applied to management skills and leadership development, helping to make business administration a more evolved and affirmative experience for everyone involved. Below are three lessons from The Art of Possibility and how they can be integrated into one's management skills.
How The Art of Possibility Applies to Your Management Skills
1. Everything Is Invented
How we look at situations, problems, and other people are all constructs of our minds. It's not that our brains are telling us stories and creating narratives about aspects of what we see; our brains are writing stories and creating realities about everything we see. When we understand this reality, everything is a matter of perception—and that is a very empowering concept. You can choose to reframe an experience at any time, which is useful in the workplace. By looking at problems from a different perspective—thereby writing a new narrative for that problem—you are a more effective leader, and you are better able to consider issues from multiple vantage points. And this leads to more effective solutions.
2. The World Is Full of Possibility
So full, in fact, that possibilities are literally endless. Managers are trained to set goals, focus on them, and do whatever is necessary to accomplish them. But what if we reframed this as we learned in lesson one above? For example, we set a goal, but conventional wisdom about achieving that goal will only get us so far because we have created a narrative around what is supposed to happen. Instead, focus on the possibilities: Do everything with passion and joy; make decisions from a place of purpose; and welcome new thoughts, ideas, strategies, and people at every step. You will likely go above and beyond the limiting goals you've set for yourself and your team.
3. Freely Give Out A’s
The authors of The Art of Possibility encourage you to mentally give out grade A’s to anyone who might cross your path in the course of a given day. Then, see what they do, or don't do, to retain that grade, and adjust your expectations accordingly. It's simply another way of not only valuing those we encounter but also of seeing how invested they are in their lives and responsibilities. This will foster a more positive work environment for those you manage, and a valued employee is a productive employee.
Crestcom in Greenwood Village, Colorado, has been a corporate training and management skill specialist for three decades. To delve deeper into The Art of Possibility, Crestcom is hosting an upcoming international meeting on this topic. To learn more about the company, their services, or their events, call (303) 267-8200, visit their website, or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.