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The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be

by William “Bill” Brashers, Ph. D., Featured Contributor

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]IF[/su_dropcap] I ASK YOU TO FOLLOW ME, what would be your first question? In previous articles, we talked about the fact that you become a leader by winning a follower. Of course followers want to know, “Where are you going?” All leaders lead to the same place. We lead to the future. The selection of that future is everything. The future we pursue will either attract followers or it won’t. Identifying a future worth pursuing is the fundamental task of leadership. If you see a future available that’s better than the one you’re currently headed for, you might want to lead there, and others might want to follow. If you don’t see a better future available, where, pray tell, are you leading?

the futureLooking into the future and identifying the one you want to pursue is what we call vision. We talk about people having vision. Vision is not something you have. Vision is something that you do. The people we call visionaries are people who have spent a lot of time looking into the future. In fact, the difference between a daydreamer and a visionary is practice. Every visionary you’ve ever heard of was a kid the schools couldn’t pound the daydreaming out of. Anything you work at, you get better at. How much time do you devote to looking into the future? Sure, planning is part of it—but not all of it. Planning is focused on the near-term and intermediate-term pathways to a future that sits a bit further out. Beyond the scope of planning, lies vision.

Here’s the strange part. In the 80s we tried very hard to predict the future with “probabilistic strategic planning.” Remember how well that worked? When I was young, we talked about 10 year strategic plans. Since then we’ve changed to 5 year plans, then 3 year… now we do 2 year plans knowing perfectly well we’ll “amend” them within a year. Against this backdrop… how does vision work? Nobody knows… it just does. Remember:

The people who know the most about the future are the ones who spend the most time there.

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#F0F0F0 ” end_color=”#F0F0F0 ” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]Editor’s Note: Bill serves as a the Dean of Bartell & Bartell’s Leadership Flight School™, geared to provides the tools you need to improve your leadership and inspire followers – while teaching you the fundamentals of leadership, and how to apply them in real situations. Find out more at Leadership Flight School™. [/message]

        

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Willam
Willam "Bill" Brashershttp://www.bartellbartell.com/
BILL is an experienced professional in the development of real-world leaders and their organizations. He has worked with thousands of owners, executives, supervisors, and teams throughout the USA over his 22 years with Bartell & Bartell, Ltd. Holding a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, he also serves as Dean of Bartell’s intensive Leadership Flight School™. Leadership Flight School is consistently ranked as a top tier training session by participants. 94% of participants rank LFS as “exceeding expectations or the BEST leadership training they’ve ever had”. And that’s coming from participants that have attended leadership training at the top business schools and leadership academies in the country.

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