Roger Bannister (who passed away a couple years back) was the first recorded human to run a mile in less than four minutes. The thinking of the time was that the human body might just be incapable of the feat. The prior record of 4:01.4 had stood for nine years. As a scientist, Bannister said he was convinced that the limit was not physical but psychological. He proved the limit was a myth.
Great achievements often have the effect of giving permission to other people to aspire to replicate or improve on the achievement. Mr. Bannister’s record only stood for 46 days when his time was surpassed by his rival, John Landy. Yet, Mr. Bannister has inspired others to challenge the myths of their barriers and keep setting higher standards, and that is something we can all do.
As a leader, you have a great opportunity to bust limits with your own actions and behaviors. Are you taking full advantage of this phenomenon? Leaders often wonder how to shift culture. The answer may be closer than they realize.