As leaders, one of the most important things we do is think. We think about our followers, about mentoring and growing other leaders, about the future of our business or our team.
Our thinking becomes dangerous when we start thinking in terms of limitations. When we think in absolutes. When we think with what’s called a “Lack Mentality”.
It’s been proven time and time again; limited thinking leads to limited results.
When we think in possibilities however then answers and solutions come to us.
Ken Blanchard once said,
Ken Blanchard once said,
If you want to go places you have never gone before, you have to think in ways you have never thought before.
Possibility thinking leads to the creative. It opens up new avenues and new solutions and allows you to be a more effective leader for your team.
Solutions Through Possibilities
If you ever saw the movie, Mr. Holland’s Opus, starring Richard Dreyfus as music teacher Glenn Holland you would see an excellent example of this. Mr. Holland is trying to write music and dreams of creating a world renown piece. To pay the bills, he takes on a job as a high school music teacher and faces challenge after challenge with the students and even his own child, who is born deaf.
Where others saw absolutes and insurmountable circumstances, Mr. Holland instead looked for possibilities. His passion for music and his desire to share that passion with others led him to think of unique ways to make things happen and achieve success. He finds creative ways to reach students and inspire them and even devises a way for his deaf son and other hearing impaired people to enjoy music through lights.
The end result was the lasting impact that Mr. Holland had on the people he influenced. He led them places they didn’t think they could go.
How We Can
As a leader, the responsibility we have as well is to lead people where they don’t necessarily think they can go. To do that, we have to be willing and prepared to explore possibilities and seek creative solutions in pursuit of our vision.
[snaptweet]When our vision and our passion join, we see hope. But when we think HOW WE CAN instead of “CAN WE”, then we create possibilities to bring our vision to reality.[/snaptweet]
Here’s some things to help open you up to possibilities:
- Be a positive thinker – Many think positive thinking is just sticking your head in the sand, but actually a positive thinker looks for possibilities. They look for how they can get the best out of every situation.
- Remember WHY and HOW – Question things a lot. Ask questions like “how can we be more effective? How can we serve our customers more efficiently? How can we improve our profitability?”
- Avoid the Impossible Thinkers – The consultants and experts that tell you it can’t be done, that its impossible to reach your goals or objectives. There are always possibilities and we want to look for those instead of what we can’t do.
- Think “AND” instead of “OR” – We limit our thinking by creating exclusionary choices. We can do this or have that. Why not look at how can we do this AND have that? How can we improve customer service AND increase profitability? Thinking that way helps us come up with creative solutions that are more effective for our organization.