Leaders and Possibility

by | Feb 27, 2014 | High Road Leadership


If you are a leader, you make things happen. You get things accomplished with people. If you desire to be the best leader you can be, become a possibility thinker.
Possibility thinking allows you to be open to the world and its diversity. New things, creative ideas, unexplored challenges, and new people are present in the benevolent universe so you can discover and create. If you are a leader, you need energy and creativity to help you fulfill your role with freshness and newness.
What is possibility thinking?
Watch a four year-old child explore the world. Everything is new and worthy of exploring.
I will use my grandson Rafael as an example. Everything he sees he has to touch, handle and investigate. Rafael always asks “What is this?” and “Why is it that way?” These two questions and his desire to explore and learn open Rafael to life’s possibilities.
Yes, there are things that he wants to explore that may not be good for him, such as a clod of dirt that he tried to eat or the dead frog he wanted to touch. Some of his questions are not so easy to answer like “Why is the ocean so big?” It is hard to explain something like that in ways that his young mind can understand. But his exploratory nature and his questions all show me that he is open to learning. And if Rafael wants something, he will find creative ways to get it, especially if he is told he cannot have it.
All children, including Rafael, are naturally possibility thinkers. They see wonder and opportunity in the world around them. Rafael has yet to master the rules of life such as good versus bad, healthy versus unhealthy, privacy versus openness, and safety versus going for it.
Unfortunately, the “rules” we learn about life start to stifle our innate curiosity and possibly thinking. This stifling is a detriment to being a great leader.
As a leader, you need to same attitude that Rafael has. Why?
You cannot know everything. You don’t have ready solutions for every problem. You do not have all the answers. Often, you do not even know the question. Leaders must adopt an attitude of openness. Leaders must constantly think that everything that unfolds for them could hold a new possibility. An attitude like this not only helps you feel young again, it also makes you a great leader.
People will not follow someone who engages in trite thinking and is close-minded. Most people want to follow a leader who is open to creative ideas and fresh solutions.
Become a possibility thinker. How? Become more like a 4 year-old.