How to Fail at Being a Forward-Thinking Leader

Are you truly being a forward-thinking leader, or do you simply think you are one?

Research has shown that one of the key leadership traits that leaders need is to be a forward-thinking leader. The disturbing finding is that many people chronically fail at being a forward-thinking leader in two fundamental ways.

Forward-Thinking Leader Fail #1: You Don’t Talk About the Future Often Enough

You talk about day-to-day activities, how you’re going to make production by the end of this week, the end of this month, the end of this quarter. You talk about those kinds of things 100 times more frequently with your team than where you all are going as a company and what it means if you actually get there. You over-talk about today and don’t talk about the future nearly enough. As a result, you lose sight of where the company is going in the long-term.

Forward-Thinking Leader Fail #2: You Are Uninspiring About the Future

When (or if) you do talk about the future, you’re probably usually uninspiring about it. You talk about how we’re going to be at XYZ place in the future and we’re going to achieve these goals in the next 3, 5, or 10 years. But you talk about it with facts and numbers and statistics. There is no heart in it—no inspiration. So your people will not be that much more engaged because you’re not inspiring them about the future.

How to Become a Forward-Thinking Leader and Engage Your Team In the Future

Drop the talk about numbers, figures, and budgets. Share your passion for the company vision and mission with your team. Talk from your heart and link the short-term goals of today and tomorrow to the long-term strategy and mission of the company. By communicating your vision and passion for the future of the company – as well as your team’s future roles in the company – you will ignite inspiration in the future for your motivated employees and help turn yourself into a truly forward-thinking leader.