Coloring Outside the Lines of Your Leadership
“If you want an interesting party sometime, combine cocktails and a fresh box of crayons for everyone.” -Robert Fulghum
Did You Know Successful People Are Uncomfortable Most Of The Time?
As a child, you were told to color inside the lines. This is where everyone does the same thing with different colors. If you drew outside the lines, you were reprimanded for doing so. As an adult, coloring within the lines is doing what everyone else does. Coloring outside the lines, you show creativity and innovativeness that several companies and organizations like, but most do not.
For many, being creative and innovative is the natural thing to do. For others, being a non-traditionalist is how you perform and get your work done. For the majority of the population, doing things the same way everyone else basically does gets things done is either boring or is frustrating because you cannot break out of that mold.
What exactly do I mean by coloring outside the lines? I am talking about someone who isn’t afraid to be who they are. Coloring outside the lines is similar to thinking outside the box. Think about the career you are in. Is it traditional or non-traditional, and is it really what you want? Can you be creative?
Coloring outside the lines is primarily about creativity with no boundaries. Using your innovative thoughts and ideas and create something extraordinary. Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try something different from the usual. If you’re like most people, that’s the way you’d color today. And if you’re like most business people, you’re doing today what you’ve been doing for a long time.
How many times have you have heard in your business, “that’s not how it’s done,” “you’re doing it wrong,” or “that won’t work?” Imagine a group of your employees each being given a line drawing to color. The employees take up the crayons and go about coloring their picture – some with great skill and precision – keeping the crayon marks just inside the lines, and using the colors to perfectly match the reality the manager had in mind. In the group there may be one or two who ignore the lines altogether. Discouraged by the manager, they are not following directions – not coloring within the lines!
You need to dare to be comfortable being uncomfortable to be truly successful. Success is not a one-time deal that you accomplish and then you are done. Success is not a destination that you reach and then you are done. It is a continuous journey and successful people understand this principle. Being uncomfortable is the idea of taking risks outside the ordinary.
Leaders with great innovative creativity need to shift gears and use different thinking habits. A Different set of repertoire leadership skills helps identify roadblocks that may keep us from being creative in producing extraordinary results.
Sometimes leading is using color in new ways just to see what you can find with a new approach. Go beyond your ordinary thoughts, and produce your own great creative results. Leaders recognize that it is the picture that is important, not the lines.
Sometimes you need to look beyond the obvious in order to find other way to solve a difficult challenge especially if the traditional ones are not giving you what you want. Leadership is not always easy and it inevitably will bring uncomfortable moments.
Coloring outside the lines is about getting outside of your comfort zone to feel comfortable doing things your way different than you have before. Great leaders are comfortable making others uncomfortable for a vision of a greater good. They understand that keeping others happy perpetuates the status quo. And they’re willing to risk being liked for being extraordinary.
A lot of people will do everything possible to avoid situations that will put them in an uncomfortable position. Avoiding these situations decreases the chance to make a change, get better results, and grow. You will never see the changes you’re looking for by sticking in your comfort zone! Many leaders who color outside the lines are many thought leaders and trailblazers who look at things in non-traditional and in unconventional ways. They get things accomplished beyond their expectations.
Since the only thing that typically is constant is change, leaders need to look carefully how change is not just uncomfortable, it is also a shift in having the confidence that once a plan is implemented, can they sustain it.
Unleash your spark of creativity and innovation that can help you with problem-solving. Your comfort zone is where you get your current results. If you want different results, new or better results, you have to get out of your zone and do something different.
For many successful people, they are always striving to get to the next level that it gets to be uncomfortable during those times because you are always growing personally &/or professionally. This goes along with the fact that they learn something new all the time. Also, by being in this position, they are on top of their game.
To get to the next level of success, a person must continually leave their comfort zone (status quo, habits, limiting beliefs, knowledge base, skill level, etc.) and try new activities, learn new things, meet new people, take reasonable risks, and seize opportunities. They must stretch.
Do yourself a favor and try to get out of your comfort zone and learn new skills that will help you be on top of your game and help you in the next level of your leadership. Are there some areas you want to learn about but were afraid to try? Look for yourself what areas may help move you to the next level of your success. Identify 3-5 areas and choose one to try. After that one, try another. See how it might be a little much for you, and then see how much you can benefit from it.
After your master being uncomfortable, you become comfortable with yourself and the leadership that is unique to you. Success begins outside your comfort zone, but it doesn’t have to be terrifying…just un-comfortable.
Comfort equals accepting the status quo. If you don’t aspire to anything more, then go ahead and be comfortable.
In your company, who gets things done faster—the person who plays strictly by the rules, or the one who knows not only how to play by the rules but how to play the chain of command as well? Ask yourself: “Where are the lines in your picture? How does your leadership color outside the lines?”
“Take comfort in being uncomfortable about being comfortable” – Art Petty
“Never invest in any idea you can’t illustrate with a crayon.” -Peter Lynch