Culture and Society

How do you prevent complacency?
Answered by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander
  • Benjamin and Rosamund Zander

    Benjamin and Rosamund Zander

  1. Benjamin and Rosamund Zander Conductor, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra ; Co-Authors, The Art of Possibility


    Benjamin: Well, you don't stop complacency; you replace complacency with something more powerful, because complacency actually is very powerful. It's like bad weather. It just -- "Ooh" -- it just weighs you down. So it can only be replaced by something equally powerful. The energy and the engagement and capacity to create and to laugh and to make something else happen, even in the most dogged resisters, is something that we obviously developed. We put a lot of energy into it.

    So when I conduct an orchestra of children on a Saturday afternoon, there are a hundred lives there have stopped going in some way. I try to pick them up and replace complacency with joy and energy and commitment and passion, and engagement with each other, and listening, and all the great things that human beings are gifted to do. But it is an intentional activity. It's not something that happened. It doesn't happen by itself. Leadership is intentional and has to be constantly, vigilantly created. I think it is a rigorous discipline.

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