Q: How can leaders stop being "held hostage to the present" and spend more time looking forward so that they will be able to articulate a vision and get others excited about that vision?
A: In their new book A Leader's Legacy, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner include a piece titled "Forward-Looking Is a Leadership Prerequisite." In this chapter they write, "You can leave a lasting legacy only if you can imagine a brighter future, and the capacity to imagine exciting future possibilities is the defining competence of leaders." Sounds good, right? But as your question indicates, this is easier said than done. From the daily demands of email to the quarterly expectations of Wall Street, leaders are often distracted by short-term responsibilities at the expense of time spent in a visionary state of mind. Where can leaders start?
Enter André Martin from The Center of Creative Leadership. André is all about the future. In his recent presentation at the ISA (an association devoted exclusively to the issues and needs of executives in the training industry) conference, he captivated the room with a presentation on the global trends and business challenges that leaders are facing today. For over an hour, the leaders in the room were encouraged to ask questions . . . questions that we don't know the answers to (for a change!), questions that provoke thought, questions that encourage debate, and questions that get us thinking about what's next.
Read some of the books he suggests:
This response article was submitted by members of The Leadership Challenge® editorial team.