Where Is Your Leadership Laboratory?

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  -Thomas A. Edison

When you hear scientist, what image instantly pops into your mind?  Is it the mad scientist in the long white lab coat with the wild eyed look and the tousled hair?  Or the secret laboratory cluttered with strange experiments and bubbling test tubes filled with strange and brightly colored substances?  From real to folklore, from Thomas Edison to Dr. Frankenstein, when we hear scientist our mind conjures up an array of images and caricatures.  Much of which is the influence of movies and television…

Most of us have a mental image of a scientist, huddled away in a laboratory, working away feverishly at some grand experiment to solve one of life’s riddles that has plagued us for centuries…or plugging away on a new discovery that will serve for the betterment of mankind and the world for centuries to come.

For us, scientist and laboratory are inextricably linked.  It is where they go to create, to innovate, to discover, to give life to their ideas and dreams.

And when we consider these examples…there is not such a big divide between the work of a scientist and the work of a leader.  Much like scientists, leaders are responsible for leading the way into the future.  Experimenting.  Discovering.  Innovating.  Creating.  Conceiving a better way forward.

However, unlike a scientist, where do leaders go to innovate?  To generate ideas?  To tinker, tweak, and try things out?  A place where experimentation and discovery can happen.

Where is our leadership laboratory?

As we move forward into the coming year we need to think about creating our very own leadership laboratory.  A place to tinker…a place to learn.  Experiment.  Dream.  A place where failure leads to discovery…accompanied with new lessons and new learning.

We need to allow ourselves a place to be scientists…scientists of leadership.

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One thought on “Where Is Your Leadership Laboratory?

  1. Great post! Sometimes, I get caught up with reading, tweeting, and blogging. Learning is important. However, we can be unintentional if we fail to think, plan, reflect, and focus. John Maxwell wrote a book titled, Thinking for a Change. He does not use the term laboratory, but he describes how leaders must plan time for big picture thinking and goal setting. This type of thinking is different from planning next week’s agenda (which is more like a To Do List).

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