Getting Outside That Box

imagesHave you ever been told you need to think outside the box? You then wonder what that really means.

When it comes to thinking outside the box, we need to realize that the walls of the box (the thing that limits or controls our thinking) is usually made up of one of four walls. In order to think outside that box, we need to knock down or break through at least one of those walls.

So, let’s look at the four walls of our box, and ask four questions, one for each wall. If we can remove one of those walls, we may discover a whole new area and way of thinking.

Wall #1 Am I limited by Tradition? “But, we have always done it like that!” can be a good statement, it can also be a limiting statement. If we can only consider doing something because traditionally we have done it that way, we will be limiting our creativity.

Many organizations have unchallenged traditions, things they have ‘always’ done and people who have ‘always’ done them. The leader needs to ask, “Wonder if…”. Maybe doing it in a different way or maybe not doing something you have ‘always’ done.

Wall #2 Am I limited by Pride? “What will people think?”   The leader who is more concerned with impressing people or worried about what ‘they’ think will always be limited in his creativity. Yes, your new idea may fail! But, you will not know until you try. Do your best to do it right and then ride it out. If it proves itself to be a bad idea, admit it was your decision and correct it. Never, never blame someone else.

Wall #3 Am I limited by Fear? “What happens if it doesn’t work?” This is a partner to pride. We all have some concern about trying something new. Do your best to study, plan, announce and implement, then keep a close eye on it and see what happens. Correct it as you go or stop it if it isn’t right. Let people know you don’t always have all the answers and could be making a mistake, but, do it because it is the right thing to do.

Wall #4 Am I limited by Resources? “How could we ever pull that off?” Sometimes money or personnel limits us in new directions. Concerning money, good thing is there to accept people’s loan application whenever they are out of money. If you want to know how to apply at their loan offers,see more at Find people to help you. See if someone already on the team could do what needs to be done. Maybe divert some funds to try something new. If it is worth doing, it may be worth the effort to give it a try.

You are the leader, in fact, you are sometimes called ‘the agent of change’. Make sure you are not limited by things that you can change. Don’t let yourself be ‘boxed’ in.



Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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