Tag disruptions

Insightful Leaders Peer into the Future, Not the Past

The first month of the year always features a deluge of articles, news stories, blogs and podcasts looking back on the previous year – month-by-month comparisons of 2021 and 2022, benchmarks for the year, how to apply those learnings to 2023.

Hey, Hey – wait a minute! Have we forgotten the lessons of 2020-2022 already? 2023 will not be a repeat of 2022, give or take 3-5% for strategic planning purposes. As we know from my book Insightful Leadership, the future is a departure from the past, not a continuation. The Assumed Certainties of the past are now the Known Uncertainties of the future.

Today, Insightful Leaders need to use the foresight they have gained through their years of experience to develop insight into what Disruptions are going on to progress into Tipping Points, harness the power of those insights to identify paradigms that are no longer correct, developing a strategy to replace these obsolete paradigms, and deploy those insights to disrupt the status quo on the way to competitive advantage and major success.

So yes, look back at what happened in 2022 and years prior. It does give you a baseline. But unlike the past, that baseline does not give you 95% accurate assessments about your business plan and operations. A better figure would be 5% certainty, 95% uncertainty.

Don’t let the waves of Disruption sweep away your organization’s future. Take much of that time you would have spent on all the discussion of the past and invest that time in thinking about the future.

A Leadership Quandary: Priorities

A key to leadership is how a leader allocates time and resources. In today’s world, the norm of perpetual disruption challenges leaders every hour as competing activities force them to make tradeoffs on how they allocate time and resources for themselves and their organization.

Great leaders realize that focusing on Important, Long-term and Strategic activities will result in the greatest success moving forward, but it is extremely difficult to withstand the call from Urgent, Short-term and Tactical activities. Realistically, few have adequate resources and time to do all.

In addition, the Disruptions of the last few years (VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity – lockdowns, hybrid schedules/remote office) have dealt an unprecedented rate of change to our leadership teams, making them less aligned than ever.

So you face a two-headed Leadership Quandary of capacity and alignment. If you slow down, contemplate and reflect, increasing your team’s leadership capacity is the only lasting solution to this Leadership Quandary.

Therefore, Leadership Development must be your organization’s No. 1 priority. This is an urgent need in a time where all organizations need dynamic, Insightful Leadership more than ever. Only by developing more leadership capacity can leaders handle all the challenges the organization faces while simultaneously harvesting all the opportunities before them.

In my view, internal mentors and internal development resources are inadequate for addressing this two-headed Leadership Quandary. Your leaders need true Leadership Development, not executive management training. Your leaders need coaches who develop their leadership abilities with insightful questions, not mentors who tell your leaders what to do.

Want to discuss this Leadership Quandary further? Amazingly, whenever I spend time with fellow seasoned leaders, we always end up discussing how our proudest, most successful moments in business came from when we dedicated our time to developing leaders and high-performing leadership teams. Happy to share with you more thoughts on Leadership Development, coaching, artificial intelligence coach-bots and more. Send me a message and we can find a time to chat.