Coloring…always fun and somewhat peaceful from time to time. I like when my family goes to a restaurant and the tablecloth becomes a big canvas where we can draw, play tic-tac-toe and color all over the place. There are no lines…there are no rules (other than keep the crayons out of the pasta) and there is no right or wrong. It’s just a free time to create with no boundaries.
In most organizations, there is a structure made up of processes that direct the ongoing operations. Those processes have been thought through and re-written until they suit the environment of that organization. I would believe that in many cases, those processes allow for good productivity and encourage growth. For the whole of the organization, that structure can be good. But should the leader stay inside those structural lines.
I will forever believe that the growth and health of an organization will be limited by the imagination of the leader. If his creative side is colored in black and white, the box will be too small to ever see any real growth. Certainly, leaders should have others around them that can be more left brain than they may be. I’m not suggesting that all things creative come from the leader, but I am suggesting that not fearing the unknown is a leadership characteristic that may unleash additional imaginative ideas throughout the organization.
Leaders work hard to get where they are. It may be a lifetime of climbing the ladder that gets them there. In fact, some of the reasons the leader may now be the leader is because of risks they took to get there. Fearing the unknown will draw thick “coloring” lines around the leader and will squelch an environment of good risk taking.
So when the lines start to be drawn, take a step back. Go out to eat and find a big table with a big paper table cloth and start to draw and color. Even if the crayons get in the pasta, you’ll start to feel “leadership free” again.
No GO Lead!