Leaders Must Think Outside The Box

How often have we heard someone use rhetoric about thinking outside the box, only to observe that they act very conventionally? True leaders consider alternatives rather than letting themselves get boxed in and get boxed in by the same old, same old! Mark Twain said it best when he wrote, "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." The reality is often that we see what we are ready and prepared to see, and little else. If we do not open our minds to alternatives, we limit our possibilities.

1. One of my greatest frustrations in my over thirty year career of training, qualifying, consulting to, and working with, well over a thousand leaders, is that they often box themselves into a corner by limiting their possibilities to those things previously done. How often I have heard, "Because we have always done it that way," when I've asked why they do something in a specific manner! I have often written about the needs for organizations to constantly evolve in order to sustain their existence and to remain relevant. This is even more true for the thought processes of those in leadership positions. Those things done in the past are great when one wishes to have a historical perspective, which is, by the way, extremely important and recommended. However, times, situations, needs, competition, the economy, communication, technology, etc. also continue to evolve, so if one in leadership does not revise and tweak his thought processes at the same time, he cannot possibly be a true, effective and relevant leader.

2. As times change, great leaders realize that it opens up more and more opportunities to do more. A true leader explores possibilities, while always striving to maintain the vital mission and vision of an organization. Organizations today have much competition, and only those that commit to maintaining relevant are able to do so. Organizations that become irrelevant find themselves struggling for members, sponsors, donors and supporters. It is for this reason that I always emphasize the need for continuous strategic planning, outside the box dollar cost budgeting, and a willingness to consider alternatives, and not simply rule something out because it is different, or not the way it's been done in the past.

Those leaders who are ruled by the past have challenges leading in the present, with an eye for the future. Every great leader understands the past, but knows that he must not only consider the past, but understand his organization's present needs, know their short- term, intermediate- term, as well as their long- term future. The challenge to today's organizations and true leaders is to find other leaders who are both willing and able to understand this balance, and are willing to open their eyes wide to the many possibilities and alternatives.

Richard Brody, with over 30 years consultative sales, marketing, training, managerial, and operations experience, has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as a company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs, and regularly blogs on real estate, politics, economics, management, leadership, negotiations, conferences and conventions, etc. He has negotiated, arranged and/ or organized hundreds of conferences and conventions. He's a Senior Consultant with RGB Consultation Services, an Ecobroker, a Licensed Buyers Agent (LBA) and Licensed Salesperson in NYS, in real estate.
Richard has owned businesses, been a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has a Consulting Website ( http://tinyurl.com/rgbcons ), and his company PLAN2LEAD, LLC's site ( http://www.plan2lead.net/ ), and can be followed on Twitter

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