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Make the Impossible Possible: One Man's Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary Paperback – October 20, 2009
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Acclaim for Make the Impossible Possible
“Passionate. Inspirational. Hopeful. Optimistic. Powerful. Compelling. And most important— it works . . . Here is the cure to what ails this country. Take it home. Read it. Then live it.” —Alan M. Webber, founding editor, Fast Company magazine
“Are you yearning to pursue what others say is an unrealistic or impractical dream? This is the book for you. By telling his remarkable story, Bill Strickland shows us that an impossible notion is just an idea nobody had the guts to try. With great flair and amazing range—you'll read about jazz, pottery, airplanes, even orchids!—he reveals how each of us can change our part of the world. Like the man who wrote it, this book is inspired and inspiring.” —Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of A Whole New Mind
“Bill Strickland is a genius, because he sees the inherent genius in everyone. Bill’s ability to inspire hope is powerful, universal, and world changing. Make the Impossible Possible will show you how you can achieve even your wildest dreams. Bravo!” —Jeff Skoll, first president of eBay, founder and chairman, Skoll Foundation
“We often hear the word inspire, likely allowing it to pass and not sink in our psyche.
However we often will never forget things that inspire us. A visit to see Bill Strickland's concept in Pittsburgh was one of those events for me. Now you can read about how he was driven to build it.” —Jim Hackett, President and CEO, Steelcase, Inc.
“Bill Strickland could sell anything . . . Read this book and you'll understand why he is such an inspiration to practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs.” —James Heskett, Harvard Business School
PRAISE FOR BILL STRICKLAND AND MANCHESTER BIDWELL
“One of the most innovative social enterprise thinkers I have ever met. The ‘Strickland’ thought process is that of a highly trained jazz musician, coupled with a keen business sense . . . He is definitely one of my major heroes.” —Quincy Jones
“The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild is a testament to the power of the arts to transform children’s lives. Its students learn much more than how to shape clay, take pictures, and appreciate jazz. They leave the Guild knowing that they have the potential and tools to become successful and productive citizens.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton
About the Author
BILL STRICKLAND is CEO of Manchester Bidwell, a jobs training center and community arts program. At Manchester Craftsmen Guild, he offers programs in ceramics, photography, and painting to hundreds of kids a year, ninety percent of whom get high school diplomas and enroll in college. And at the Bidwell Training Center, adults receive training in professional careers such as the culinary arts, pharmacology, and horticultural technology, through partnerships with major corporations in the area. The center includes a 350-seat jazz auditorium, a 40,000-square-foot greenhouse covering half a city block, a state-of-the-art chemistry lab, a full-scale ceramics department, and a culinary institute. As a result of his work, Strickland has received a MacArthur Fellowship “genius” grant, has lectured at Harvard Graduate School of Education, has served on the board of the National Endowment for the Arts, and he and Manchester Bidwell have been the subject of three Harvard Business School case studies. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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Strickland's turning point began the moment he followed his teenaged curiosity into Frank Ross's art classroom and was invited to try his hand at throwing a pot. In this calm and inspiring classroom, Strickland realized that life had much to teach and he became an enthusiastic learner. Like a true creative student, he was influenced by a wide array of people and things. Frank Lloyd Wright, jazz and orchids all become part of this story. Happily, he passes on what he learned along with this fascinating story of starting small and dreaming big.
This is the best kind of story...the kind that shows what can happen when we refuse to give up on our wildest dreams. Unlike many success manuals, there's nothing sappy about Strickland's path from ghetto kid to community force for good. He won't tell you how to make a million dollars, but he will show you how to find your own path and purpose. In our information-drenched world, it's also wonderful to read a story that shows us that inspiration matters every bit as much as information. Bill Strickland is a man worth knowing.