Why To Be A Rule Breaker

What are the rules you need to break in order to break through? 

Why To Be A Rule Breaker

What are the rules you need to break in order to break through? 

Rules are designed to provide structure, ensure fairness, comply with laws and standards, and ensure consistency for people across processes and procedures. But do they really serve us?

How might breaking the rules be just what we need to breakthrough?


Pablo Picasso is attributed with the quote,  ‘Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist’.  Isn’t that a great idea? Know the rules not so that you stick to them but so that you know how to break them. 

One of the things I’m really interested in as I work with leaders and teams, is surfacing and exploring the rules they need to break in order to break through. In my experience as a leader, and working alongside them for over three decades, I’ve found there’s often a set of ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds’ that we put in place for ourselves and that the systems around us put in place, that don’t serve us in this moment, in this context, in this set of circumstances and in making progress. 

What are the rules that you need to break in order to break through? 

Are they the ones that you hold for yourself?  
Perhaps it’s that little voice in your head that’s saying, ‘well you should have done that and you could have done that, why didn’t you do that and this is how you need to show up…’  
But is that narrative still relevant for you? Is it still useful? Or are you holding on to a set of beliefs that at some time may have served you well but for where you are now and who you are now, they simply don’t anymore. 

And what about your team, or your organization? 
Are there historic rules, historic ways of working, historic cultural practices that just don’t serve where you need to be now and growing forward into the future?  

Because the thing is until we bring these rules above the surface, we can’t see whether they’re serving us well. And this is particularly true in a cultural context, whether that’s our personal culture in how we’re running our internal dialogue, our team culture in how we’re working together and the written and unwritten rules about how things should be done, or whether it’s a community or organizational culture where we’ve got a way of being together that is simply outdated. Until we bring these rules above the surface so that we can examine them to see if they serve us now, we simply don’t know because we’re operating on autopilot.   

How could you embrace Picasso and understand the rules like a pro by bringing them above the surface and examining and getting to know them, and then break them like an artist so that we make the progress and contribution we want to and do the work that we need to in a more effective way. 

What are the rules you need to break in order to break through? 

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