The depth and width of a leader’s thinking determine the ideas that come to him. When you expand your mind, you automatically expand your capability of getting a bigger idea.
The story is told of a fisherman who went fishing, taking his stick, hook and a bucket. A man standing by observed that whenever this fisherman catches a fish, he brings it out and measures it with a stick. If the fish is bigger than the stick, he throws it back into the river. If it is the same length as the fish or smaller than it, he throws it into the bucket. The observer spoke to the fisherman: ‘I have observed the way you toss every big fish back into the river but keep the smaller ones. Why do you do this? The fisherman answered: ‘Before I left my house, I measured my frying pan with this stick. If any fish is bigger than my frying pan, I throw it back into the river.’
This analogy describes what happens when our minds are small. When we get an idea that looks too big, our minds reject it because it does not have the capacity to handle big ideas.
For you to be a creative leader, you cannot allow your mind to be boxed in. You must allow yourself to see the big picture. You must not be afraid to try and fail, rather than not try at all.
It has been said that to be creative, one has to think outside the box. I am taking it a step further by asking you to think as if there is no box at all. When you think outside the box, you may still find yourself limited by the knowledge that there is a box. To be creative, you have to tear the box. The box is a history of failures and limitations so you cannot include it in the picture, lest it influences your thinking.