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Tag: Ben Zander

Are their eyes shining? The only question to ask when we lead others

Who am I being that my children’s eyes are not shining?

“It’s the same for parents. If their eyes are shining, you know you are doing it. If they’re not, you’ve got to ask a question – who am I being that my children’s eyes are not shining?”

Ben Zander

And if their eyes are not shining?

Maybe the wisdom of Tony de Mello will help.  Are you trying to make them do your bidding?  Could we put equal energy into developing a deep relationship between ourselves and others?

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7 videos of joy, zest, enthusiasm

During Christmas, I am going to rewatch some videos on positive psychology that I have found particularly inspiring. Here are 7 of the best.

Smile and the whole world will smile with you.

A gentle love story about smiling, validation, emotional contagion and if you look carefully toward the end, the effect of networks on happiness.

Everyone gets an A

Ben Zander speaking at TED

Positive Psychology

Martin Seligman speaking at TED


Kay Jamison on exuberance

My stroke of insight

Moving yet inspirational talk by,  Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroscientist, talking about her own stroke at TED

J.K. Rowling delivering the commencement address at Harvard

And continuing here.  Author of Harry Potter books talking about sticking to her passsion and the responsibilities of Harvard graduates.

Starting close in

Dr Rao speaking at Googletalk

Have a good Christmas and a joyful and unexpectedly prosperous 2009!


3 steps of leadership

Ben & Ros Zander on leadership

“The job of a leader isn’t to make decisions. It’s to make “distinctions.” “The discipline of making distinctions,” she says, “is based on two questions:

  • What assumptions am I making that I don’t know I’m making?
  • And what can I create that will give me something new?

Making distinctions is about performing small, inventive acts — acts that are totally different from normal strategizing or scheming. Leaders of the future will create categories that give people information on how to do their jobs and on how to live their lives.”

For the full article: here.

A leader’s role

A leader’s role is not to tell us what to do.   A leader’s role is to see the assumptions that we make that we don’t see that we make.    A leader’s role is to have all opinions heard.  A leader’s role is to see connections between our opinions that we don’t see.

When a leaders sketches a positive framework for us, we feel free to act and to act in coordination with each other.


It can be a tough job making sense of the whole picture.  Here are three questions that psychologists find useful?

  1. What surprises me?  What has brought me to bone-shuddering halt?  What would I like to know more about?
  2. Who else is interested in this surprise but is not saying anything?
  3. Who would be so happy if I asked them what they felt?

That’s a good start.

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A video of Ben Zander speaking on contribution

Here we are.

UPDATE: If you’ve never heard Ben Zander, the orchestra conductor, speak on leadership, I recommend it strongly.  Half an hour that will truly change your life.

Ben Zander,  comfortable of course, in front of a large audience speaks on his work as teacher, university professor and professional conductor.

He has learned to look for the spirit of musicians and talks about “one buttock playing”, “bringing the light to people’s eyes” and  “apologizing and inviting”.  With these three rules of thumb, you’ll transform the way you work with others.

Welcome to the world of ease and merriment of Ben Zander!

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