By Art Rainer
Sometimes leaders get stuck. Their creative juices have run dry. They feel like they are out of ideas.
If you lead long enough, you will probably find yourself in a similar situation. So what can you do? Are you doomed to be a leader who cannot bring any new ideas to the table?
There are several avenues that provide me ideas on what to do next. They are accessible to most. Let me lay them out for you:
1. My idea list
I keep an ongoing list of ideas on my phone with me. The reason is simple—I don’t want to forget any ideas that run across my mind. Most ideas will never see the light of day. But some will. Whenever I feel stuck, my first move is to open up my idea list. Sometimes, I use one found on the list. Other times, the ideas I wrote spur on new, better ideas. I recommend you start your own idea list as soon as possible.
Give someone who holds a similar position to you a call. Share some war stories with them. Ask them what they are learning. Tell them what you are learning. This sharing of information may spark something in your mind.
Have a cup of coffee with someone who is not your peer. Learn about their world. You might some an idea worth chasing in your area.
4. Visit another organization
See if you can get a tour. Ask if you can sit in on their meetings. Spend time with their leaders. Ask what their biggest accomplishment in the past year has been. And how did they get there?
Conferences are great events for hearing big ideas. They are also a fantastic place to meet new people. Either one may provide you with the inspiration you need.
6. Books and magazines
Whether you prefer physical or digital versions, books and magazines can provide you with cutting edge ideas and best practices.
The lack of ideas can be frustrating for any leader. But it can be overcome.
Getting intentional about generating new ideas can guide a leader to their next innovative concept.
You can get out of that rut.
Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and cofounder of Rainer Publishing. He is the author of several books, Raising Dad and Simple Life.