“I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.”
– Muriel Strode, American poet & essayist, 1903
So many times people get stuck trying to maintain the way they do things they forget to be imaginative. I see myself as someone who would teach them to, what I call, “Think Outside the Blah.” The blah being that mindless thinking down that path that Muriel Strode stated she would not follow.
After teaching leadership for a number of years I began to see a common pattern emerge. Too many organizations focused so much on preserving institutional norms, procedures, and rituals that the leaders failed to realize this behavior was contributing immensely to the organization’s demise.
After a while, this unimaginative focus just starts to bore people to death. In volunteer organizations, people stop participating in events and stop working on projects, while in the business world this boring, uninspiring focus brings about workers who just show up and are not particularly engaged.
Leaders can have a tremendous impact and begin to reverse this pattern but first, they must identify the Blah in their organizations and then be brave enough to step off the well-worn path to begin to leave a trail of creative, inspired leadership.