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  • Writer's pictureMirrorbox Leadership Lab

The Lost Art of Experimentation

Updated: Nov 8, 2023



As human beings most of us like life to be predictable, we like linear paths, we want to get from A to B in the quickest and most efficient way possible.


When driving, we plug in the address and select the quickest or most direct route available from the GPS. When we fly, we want the direct non-stop service, because stop overs mean extra time that we don’t have. Think about a cookbook – we follow the recipe step by step. How often in our daily lives do we give ourselves permission to play, experiment and color outside of the lines?


As children we always colored outside of the lines, but only until the grown-ups taught us that we needed to stay within the confines of the thick black line that outlined the boundaries of the image. Think about how much of our adult lives are confined to staying within the lines? How often do you take a different route to work, take a different seat on your daily train commute, or shake up any part of your daily routine?


Now don’t get me wrong, structure and routine can be great things but how often do you stop and reflect to consider what else might be possible if you experimented, if you tried something new and adopted a new approach?


What got you here, won't get you there...


That same mindset often plays out for leaders in a corporate setting. Leaders are so consumed in the daily grind and pressures of achieving results that it often comes at the expense of experimentation. As leaders it’s important to not only think creatively about your business, ensuring you strive for innovation in your products or services, but it’s also important that you reflect and experiment with how you show up as a leader. We’ve all heard the phrase “what got you here, won’t get you there” – yet how often do we pause to really reflect on our own personal cause and think about the leader we need to be and want to be?


In our constant desire for speed and efficiency we have lost the playfulness of personal growth through experimentation. To truly grow as a leader, as a human being, it requires you to be vulnerable and to be willing to fail in service of self-discovery and learning. When we reflect and commit to experimenting with new mindsets and behaviors only then can we expand our knowledge of what it means to continually grow and evolve as a leader.



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