Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wk4 Blog Post - The Art of Possibility ch. 9-12

Good evening fellow EMDT cohort and staff,

First and foremost, I'd like to congratulate each and every one of you all that shared your Leadership Document drafts during Wimba on Tuesday night and Wednesday night. I thought you all did a fantastic job, and I am super stoked of the great possibilities in hearing several success stories down the road!

Now onto this week's Art of Possibility blog post. Chapter's 9-12 were simply incredible. I'm going to chime in on a particular passage that I felt was truly profound and was just the type of motivation I needed to hear should I get selected to present my Leadership Project at The Illinois Education and Technology Conference.

Zander is by far the most resilient, confident, gregarious, and focused human being that I have ever in my entire life come to discover. Flying out from Boston to Washington at 8am, JUST for an UNEXPECTED 20 minute meeting to entice the LEGENDARY Rostropovich to play in his orchestra, and fly back to Boston at 12pm with successfully getting the guy to agree??? The man truly knows how to enroll others and light a spark. If that were me, I'd be too busy preparing myself on that flight on how to come across to him. However, I shouldn't need to allow my fear and nerves to beat myself over -- Our universe is ALIVE with sparks and the capacity to make the impossible, possible, so long as we bare passion! First, I wholeheartedly agree with Ben Zander's dad, Walter Zander, that "certain things in life are better done in person". My cohort and I are enormously lucky and grateful to have the opportunity of a lifetime to engage our passions and action research with a receptive audience of likeminded visionaries. To enroll them into adopting our passion, we need to approach them with the confidence that they are willing to get swept off their feet and inspired. We need to speak with the premise of that which would make US be swept away with inspiration. We need to have NO doubt whatsoever that others will love our pioneering ideas. Only then, can we reap the given benefits that were already promised to us from the get-go. Showing up is half the work, if you have the passion for success and change.

Here's an inspirational story I'd like to share. Last night, I was watching Conan O'Brien's talk show Conan and we were all pleasantly delighted to engage in a comedic standup routine by up-and-coming comedian, Brody Stevens. It was clear in my eyes that he hadn't had too much experience performing before a huge publicized live audience. However, the man did exceptionally well simply by periodically saying out loud "Yes! Positive ENERGY!". It was an addicting mantra that helped him remain on top of his game. In one of his bits, Brody said that he wanted to get laid -- fair enough. However, he said he'd have a BETTER chance of getting laid after making people laugh through his live standup routine, rather than call up his lady friends via telephone.

Check out his debut on Conan

...YES! POSITIVE ENERGY! Can you guys harbor the same outlook and desire to create a spark in your Leadership Project presentations or papers? A "no" from your audience can seem like a door slamming in your face, especially when you tell yourself that your audience is not engaged. However, even when the audience was not laughing at each and every one his jokes, Brody still told himself out loud, "yes" and kept ENROLLING us into HIS passion. Don't throw in the towel while you're in the heat of selling OPPORTUNITIES and POSSIBILITIES, just hold on to it until you make a cruise ship towel animal!!! 

Thank you for reading my loyal subscribers. See you all in Month 12. 



  1. Ok.. Positive energy, YES!

  2. Shrav,

    Your blog is one of positive energy and I wish you all in the success in your Leadership Project and other endeavours.
    About that plane ride-- What does one consider important? How important? What is one willing to risk to make it happen? And happen it did for Ben Zander and so it can for all of us, with time and effort....

  3. Hi Shrav.

    I remember that my former boss said the same thing, when I was coordinating the audiovisual requirements for a students' convention. She told me to go to the director's department office and confirm that everything is set. Working in public service made you realize that people like when they are treated as friends and not as clients. I think or should I say, I believe that one of the reasons that professors or directors ask for my participation in activities is that I "personalized" my work according to their needs.

  4. I have to agree that just showing up and being there is not all that is needed. We need to motivate, engage, make learning fun, and be creators of great possibilities. We can do it. Just look at all that has been accomplished within a year and how great strides have already been made. We are the positive changes that need to be sparked in others and by sharing who we are and what we know through this program, our presentations, etc. we can go and achieve anything. We are not stuck in one gear and can move and adapt to make things work.

  5. Shrav,

    Benajmic Zander’s story about flying cross-country just for a brief meeting with Mstislav Rostropovich. As you put it, Zander clearly knows the powers of persuasion and how to “light a spark” under other people. This anecdote was one of many that made me consider how much like a teacher Zander the conductor must be. He inspires others to do their best, to step out of their comfort zones (remember that he was asking Rostropovich to play a heretofore unseen piece!) and really excel.

    Your post was a great reminder of what I found most meaningful in Art of Possibility. Thanks! -Kim