Benjamin Zander Quotes

A cynical person is a passionate person who doesn’t want to be disappointed again.

For most people success is measured in wealth and fame and power. For me, success is measured by how many shining eyes are around me.

How absurd human beings are and how magnificent.

How often do we stand convinced of the truth of our early memories, forgetting that they are assessments made by a child? We can replace the narratives that hold us back by inventing wiser stories, free from childish fears, and, in doing so, disperse long-held psychological stumbling blocks.

If there’s a breakdown in your relationship, you’re not giving that person an ‘A.’

If you make a mistake, celebrate.

In the measurement world, we set a goal and strive to achieve it. In the universe of possibility, we set the context and let life unfold.

It is the tuning of the universe… It’s as if at the beginning of the symphony God turns up the volume just a tiny bit.

It’s one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming.

Leaders must take great care to ensure that all employees – especially those at the front lines, who are particularly vulnerable to the ravages of ‘second fiddle-itis’ – recognize that they, too, are a leading player, an integral voice, and that the company cannot ‘make its music’ without that voice.

Life is revealed as a place to contribute and we as contributors. Not because we have done a measurable amount of good, but because that is the story we tell.

Many leaders still tend to believe that the company cannot succeed unless they are in charge of everything. This is also a hard belief to resist, since shareholders often hold CEOs directly responsible when a company’s fortunes start to fall.

My job is to remind the players of the rhythm of transformation.

Once we learn how to “lighten up,” we learn how to see the essential value of mistakes, to view problems and situations differently.

Players whose parts are duplicated by many others – second violins, for example – often perceive their role in the group to be of little significance.

The best review I ever got was not from a music critic, but from my father. He was 94 years old at the time and completely blind. He attended a Master Class I gave in London and sat there in his wheelchair for about three hours. When it was over, I went to speak with him. He lifted up his finger in his characteristic way and said, ‘I see that you are actually a member of the healing profession.’ It seemed to me the highest accolade.

The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful.

The next 30 years will be the most exciting years in human history.

The secret of life is it’s all invented.

The trouble with motivational speaking is like Chinese food–after two hours you’re hungry for more.

The world of the symphony orchestra has traditionally been a maelstrom of competition, survival, backbiting, subservience, and status seeking.

There is no problem that can’t be solved if you create a framework for it.

You can’t lie with your body, and you can’t lie with your eyes.

You can’t play great music until your heart has been broken; I say let’s have more broken hearts and get on with it.