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He played his pieces through with elegance and accuracy.It was playing of an absolutely professional standard, the kind of performance that would, I told him, gain him entry into the ranks of an orchestra.However, it lacked flair and the characteristics of true leadership—not only command of color, intensity, drive, and passion, but the energy to take people beyond where they would normally go.We started work on the pieces—I played the piano, sang, coaxed, and urged him on until his rather formal restraint broke down, and he began to play from the heart and throw all his passion and energy into the soaring passages of the Dvorak Concerto.In the middle of one of his most impassioned utterances, I stopped him and said, There, that’s it.If you play that way, they won’t be able to resist you.You will be a compelling force behind which everyone will be inspired to play their best. He wiped the sweat from his brow and from his cello, and we retired to the kitchen for a spaghetti dinner and a bottle of good red wine.As he left the house that night, I shouted behind him, Remember, Marius, play it the second way! I will! he called back.Three weeks later he telephoned.How did it go, Marius? I was eager to know.Oh, he said, I didn’t make it.What happened? I asked, as I prepared to console him.You will have other chances. In my mind I vowed to work with him further on releasing his enormous capacity for expression.But it turned out that he had discovered how to break through the gates himself.No, no, no, he said.You haven’t heard the whole story.I was so peesed off, I said, ‘Fock it, I’m going to Madrid to play the audition for the principal cellist in the orchestra there!’—and I won it, at twice the salary of the other job.What happened? I asked again, in amazement.Zander,I got my A because I am such a special and bright artist.A real artist of human life.The most precious treasure of whole my body is the endless passion of life.Where is the electric socket for possibility, the access to the energy of transformation? It’s just there over the bar line, where the bird soars.I asked my mother how long he would be gone, and she assured me I would see him the next evening.Your father has some things he wants to discuss with a gentleman in Glasgow.They will have breakfast in the Glasgow Railway Station, and then he will take the next train back to London.Is it a special friend of his? I asked, but was told that the gentleman was no one I knew, and someone with whom my father had only a brief acquaintance.I think I was about eight or nine at the time.Later I asked him why he had not used the telephone.Adopting the stance in which he gave life lessons—eyebrows raised, eyes shining, and, I believe, index finger pointing, my father said, Certain things in life are better done in person.This train journey and my father’s lesson seemed mysterious and wonderful to me as a child, and took hold in my imagination.The organizer of the festival suggested that I try to engage the world’s greatest cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, to play the cello concerto that Henri Dutilleux had written specifically for him.As Rostropovich and I were acquaintances, I called his assistant in Washington in October, mentioned the date in April, and asked whether Slava would be available.The assistant, with a markedly disdainful air, said, Are you referring to this coming April?There is no possible chance he could consider this. I then asked if I might call Slava directly, as I thought his deep love of the music of Henri Dutilleux might prompt his interest.Rostropovich would be in on Wednesday morning at ten, if I wished to telephone him.Wednesday morning, early, I was at the airport, catching a plane from Boston to Washington.Just before ten o’clock, I walked into Slava’s office.His assistant was quite taken aback and visibly irritated, but she announced my presence and showed me into the room where Slava worked.The maestro remembered having given me a cello lesson as part of a master class at Oxford, many years before, and greeted me with his traditional enveloping hug.We settled on the sofa, and began to talk about his beloved friend, the genius composer Henri Dutilleux.Slava became completely animated, his face shining, as he described the nature of Dutilleux’s genius and his unique voice in modern music.Suddenly he asked me when the performance was to take place.I gave him the date.And it involved a huge risk for even a very fine student orchestra to perform an unfamiliar, wildly difficult concerto after just one rehearsal with the soloist.But at least each of us had an accomplice in our folly.I left no more than twenty minutes after I had arrived, murmuring, He’ll do it to the appalled assistant.The plane that carried me home from Washington at noon that day was the same one I had taken there, with the same crew in attendance.Certain things in life are better done in person. Because I was so excited that Slava had agreed to perform with us, I told the flight attendant the whole story.And, knowing that Slava was the beloved and famous conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, the steward announced over the loudspeaker that I had come down to the nation’s capital for an hour to entice Rostropovich to play with our New England Conservatory orchestra and Rostropovich had agreed.Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share.In the Middle Ages, when lighting a fire from scratch was an arduous process, people often carried about a metal box containing a smoldering cinder, kept alight throughout the day with little bits of kindling.This meant that a man could light a fire with ease wherever he went, because he always carried the spark.But our universe is alive with sparks.We have at our fingertips an infinite capacity to light a spark of possibility.Passion, rather than fear, is the igniting force.Abundance, rather than scarcity, is the context.Just as Walter Zander lit a small fire in his young son, so did Ben awaken Rostropovich to a possibility.So, the practice of enrollment is about giving yourself as a possibility to others and being ready, in turn, to catch their spark.It is about playing together as partners in a field of light.Imagine that people are an invitation for enrollment.Stand ready to participate, willing to be moved and inspired.Offer that which lights you up.Have no doubt that others are eager to catch the spark.A no can so often dampen our fire in the world of the downward spiral.In other words, a no can seem like a door slamming instead of merely an instance of the way things are.Yet, were we to take a no less personally, and ourselves less seriously, we might hear something else.We might hear someone saying, I don’t see any new possibility here, so I think I’ll stick with my usual way of doing things. We might hear within the word no an invitation for enrollment.On an April morning I dusted off my bicycle from its winter hibernation and pedaled toward the Museum of Fine Arts, a route that would take me across the Charles River and along the flowering paths of the Fenway.Finding it hard going over the Boston University Bridge, I stopped to check my tires and saw that the front one was nearly flat.Yet I was in luck, for just ahead, at the foot of the bridge, was a service station whose air pump shone invitingly from across the road.Two big men were in attendance, one at the pumps and one standing idle.Do you have change for the air pump? I asked.They shook their heads.It was Sunday, and the till was empty, they explained.I showed them that my tire was flat and that the air pump wouldn’t work without two quarters.Again they shook their heads, looking away and down, their hands in their pockets, shuffling their feet like two slow bears.How unnecessary! I thought.How irritating, how petty, I argued as I went down in defeat.With that last thought my perspective lightened, and I felt a shift.I glimpsed, for an instant, that the very people I perceived to be blocking me, their elusive change jingling in their pockets, shared my distress.We were three unhappy people.Then a molecular change, a brightening of the day.Will you give me two quarters? I asked, cheerfully, intimately, my whole self on the wing.The man before me looked up slowly as though confronted with an ancient riddle.The onlooker sprung to life.Yes! he said, reaching into his pockets, I can give you the quarters, and he stretched out his hand.Yet the other gentleman still stood in some confusion.The directions spilled forth as from a horn of plenty.Like a tap to a kaleidoscope that shifts identical pieces of glass into different patterns, the scene changed before our eyes from bankruptcy to abundance with just the slightest nudge to the frame.Initially we were relating to each other in the assumption that money is scarce, exchanges must be fair, and that property boundaries were impenetrable.This perspective had us locked into a condition of breakdown.Look, lend me two quarters for goodness sake, and I’ll return the money on the way back from the museum, and I might have gotten my dreary way.But it would hardly have brightened anyone’s morning.Persuasion is typically used to get the thing you want, whether or not it is at someone else’s expense.Persuasion works fine when the other person’s agenda matches yours or when the transaction somehow benefits them as well.We call that aligning interests. But in this case there was nothing in it for the two men, at least from the world of measurement, except to see me on my way.The practice of enrollment, on the other hand, is about generating possibility and lighting its spark in others.It is not about the quarters.The sudden realization that we were all trapped in a box of scarcity, unable to act effectively over a matter that cost no more than fifty cents enabled me to step into a universe of possibility—the only place from which you can enroll other people.Why not jump out of our car and toss two quarters in the bin?The plain request Will you give me two quarters? conveyed a vibrant new world, one in which asking, giving, and receiving were all easy, generous acts.Possibility has its own music, its own gestures, its own kind of radiance, and the attendant caught the spark.How could we help but be joyous that we had the means among us to make everything work?I was helping the Philharmonia Orchestra of London land a corporate sponsor for one of our concerts, and I approached Arthur Andersen.They turned us down, citing too many other commitments and not enough staff to handle such an event.I made a quick translation in my mind and concluded that they had not seen a strong possibility in the venture.They were not enrolled.So, when on a subsequent visit I arrived in London and found an invitation to a formal dinner for that very evening from the man who had been in the position of granting or refusing my request, I saw it as an opportunity.However, my suitcase was stranded in Holland, and since I was dressed in jeans and sneakers, I went straight out to Selfridges to buy a complete evening wardrobe.The Newham Project, alias Education Action Zone, was to be launched with the personal involvement of the prime minister the following September.By the end of our dinner, I, who had come to see if I might obtain a sponsorship for my project, found myself fully enrolled in theirs.The dim shape of a collective plan began to emerge.It was suggested that I go to one of the failing schools to introduce the students to classical music with the idea that children and teachers alike would come to believe in their own creativity through the metaphor of music.Arthur Andersen would take on the expense of bringing the entire Philharmonia Orchestra to the school for a subsequent session.In addition, they agreed to sponsor two hundred of the students who might choose to attend our concert at the Royal Festival Hall.And, oh yes, in recognition of my participation in this educational initiative, Arthur Andersen offered to fully sponsor the Philharmonia concert.The Eastlea School is located in the toughest, bleakest section of London’s Docklands district, where the pupil population is largely minority.In my initial visit to the school to meet with the administrators, I was surprised to see that all the children were under sixteen.When I asked why this was so, it was explained to me that sixteen is the age at which they are legally able to leave school.Thirty of the children were in wheelchairs with illnesses or congenital conditions as serious as cerebral palsy and spina bifida.Presiding over the whole institution was the irrepressible and indefatigable Maggie Montgomery, headmistress extraordinaire, who enthusiastically welcomed the prospect of the visit of a conductor of some international renown to her school.We decided on the gym as the only possible location for the first presentation.Maggie admitted that she had never before dared to hold a full school assembly since it would take nearly an hour to seat all eleven hundred students, and their rowdiness was likely to be uncontrollable.She greeted my description of a session two hours long with bemused disbelief, predicting that her teachers would say that fifteen minutes of classical music would be stretching the limit.Do whatever you think you can do!

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