The rubber band theory of Leadership™

I start my leadership classes by giving everyone a rubber band and ask them to “play” with it!

There are many ways they can do that!

Stretch it, make different patterns, wrap it around their fingers’, and flick it (even then they mimic only), put it round their wrist. Many creative ways they find!

AND yet….It is rare that anyone has EVER broken or snapped it!

Why is that I ask?

I have come to the conclusion that that rubber band signifies the “comfort zone” we all have.

Just like our comfort zone and what we do in life we can stretch that band or ourselves, to a point we see the grimaces’ and the contorted faces and then going that extra little millimeter brings out the fear of what will happen. So like that rubber band we go back to our original space.

That rubber band signifies the mental constraints we put on our ambitions, our visions, our loves, our daily lives, our decisions and what stops us being the best we could never imagine ourselves to be.

You see that rubber band is like the “box” we often hear about “let’s think outside the box.” The rubber band is just the same kind of constraint. When people say to us let’s think outside the box what are they implying? You got it. THERE IS A BOX!

Let us imagine there never was a box……what would our constraints be? What stresses would suddenly disappear. What fears would be lifted? What decisions would be made?

My point is when we stretch it should not to be determined by our fear but by how far we can push that stretch when there is nothing to stop it….

When we think there is no box or there is no fear of breaking that rubber band we give ourselves permission to deliver renewal and creative insights. We do whatever our imagination allows us to deliver. We no longer put fear to the forefront but rather the art of the imaginable.

When we think. “What would we do if we were not scared” Who Moved my Cheese. Dr. Spencer Johnson

Or “walk naked into the land of uncertainty.”   – Deep Change” Robert E. Quinn

When we snap that rubber band we are truly entering parts of our experiences and inner resolution we have never tapped into before because WE HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE there is no comfort zone and there is no way back and no trodden path before us.

So we develop an open mindedness that has no limits and a courage that changes everything and a faith that overcomes fear and the leader within that has created a comfort zone that is truly without limits.



About HRMexplorer

Managing Director - Human Capital Europe and USA - My ability is to recognize ingrained assumptions and patterns of operation that aren’t productive, and offer practical, cost-effective and value-based solutions.

Posted on May 19, 2012, in HRMexplorer Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on HRMexplorer's Blog and commented:

    So you think You need comfort zone? Read this –

  2. I love the rubber band theory, too many people crawl back into the box, (comfort zone) once the band is broke, no going back!

  3. Good morning Peter, excellent post and very thought provoking. No box? That is a wow thought for many. Thank for getting my mind moving this morning and I loved the book ” who moved my cheese”. Have a wonderful weekend.

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