Tools for transformation from the Zanders

Steffie Verstappen
Article by: Steffie Verstappen
Tools for transformation from the Zanders

This is a discussion of the book, "The Art of Possibility: Transforming professional and personal life" by Rosamund Zander and Benjamin Zander (Penguin: 2002).


Benjamin Zander has been an inspiration to us at THNK. He is the living example of a thought leader, but a seemingly atypical one at first glance. As the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, it is easy to assume that his skill set and outlook on leadership are very specific. Which they are, but at the same time, there is a lot of generic value in them. His insights go a long way in the realms of business and society just the same. His book, that he co-authored with his wife Rosamund, offers us detailed insights into their thoughts and techniques.


In this book, The Art of Possibility, Benjamin (conductor) and Rosamund (painter) Zander share with us their insights on the similarities between exercising an art and exercising "the" life art of possibility. The value of their argument extends far beyond the strictly artist worlds, into the corporate world of business and the public world of society at large. As the Boston Globe phrased it: "[This book is] as applicable in the workplace as in an intimate relationship".


The essence of their argument consists of the following: any art requires skills, and becoming skillful requires discipline. The interesting and compelling part of their book is the fact that they continuously emphasize the need for practice, the importance of flow and the joy and passion of creation and expression. In addition, the book offers inspiring tools for transformation in this regard. It suggests an entirely new outlook on life that is focused on our individual ability to become instruments for effective partnership and collaboration.

Discover more tools for transformation in the THNK Creative Leadership Program. Visit the program page to find out if you qualify or contact us at