A leader for many people is an all-knowing superhero who stands, commands, and protects his followers. But that’s an image from another time. With today’s rapid pace of change, future-focused leaders are expected to do more with less, all while navigating an everchanging world of uncertainty.
Leaders have a critical choice to make: look ahead or get stuck in the past. If you want to step up, though, read on to see what qualities you can cultivate to help you stand out as an effective, future-focused leader.
How to be a Future-Focused Leader
Plan, Plan, and Plan Again
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Planning is nothing but thinking before the action takes place. It helps leaders identify the “what-if” scenarios, where they attempt to envision possible risk factors and decide in advance the way to deal with the situations that they might encounter in the future.
Not only will planning allow an organization to take a peek of the future, but it will also help them shape it.
Knowledge is Power
Highly successful people read. A lot.
Warren Buffett, for one, attributes a lot of his great money decisions to his reading habits. When asked how to get smarter, Buffett pointed to a stack of manuals and papers and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day.” According to him, that’s how knowledge builds up, while he compared it to the likes of compound interest.
Nicknamed the “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time. The 88-year-old runs Berkshire Hathaway that owns over 60 companies. These include insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell, and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.
In the new digital age, e-books, news articles, and blogs are readily available from many online sources. You might want to start reading them now!
No Delegation in Accountability
Accountability means taking ownership to ensure responsibilities are achieved as expected. Accountable leaders must clearly fathom expectations before making commitments.
It is one way to build trust in the workplace. Employees trust leaders who aren’t quick to make excuses or pass the blame to someone or something else. Instead, when things do not go as planned, leaders take accountability for their role in the consequences.
Likewise, a leader also knows that a good rule of thumb for giving feedback is to praise in public and criticize in private.
When you are focused on caring personally, you will naturally be more aware of the other person’s preferences, and adjusting for these preferences is easy.
Lead by Example
True future-focused leaders know that people take cues from them. Leaders practice what they preach and exemplify the values they want to instill in an organization. In other words, they are authentic.
Leaders also know that honesty and integrity are the foundations of leadership. They, almost always, may not be the most famous or flashy of leaders, and they don’t care. Integrity is doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. And that’s what makes success.
Quick Question: Will you seize the moment as a future-focused leader or hold back until it’s too late?
Remember: What you do today, not yesterday, is what will determine how you live your life tomorrow.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and experience in relation to future-focused leadership. Comment them now!