Leaders Make the Future

Eight Ideas for Future Leadership

I just finished the fascinating book, Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Future. Brilliant, bold, wise, stimulating, and a worthwhile map for the skills needed for an uncertain future. Early in the book, Johansen provides eight themes or insights that will be true for future leaders. These are NOT the ten skills, but rather, core themes that will be manifest in those who lead for the future. Here they are.

Get there early. Be among the first to show up. Don't be premature, but hesitation and later adoption is not going to serve leaders for the future. Faith, foresight, risk-taking, curiosity, and the mindset of explorers and adventurers is needed.

Be healthy in mind and body. I am so aware of this. I am working harder then ever to get and stay healthy. A note to all my friends - especially if you struggle with weight - I share your struggle. But we need to do something about it. Get the app - MyFitnessPal and start using it religiously.

Focused Attention, filter out the noise and distractions. We live in a world of "mass distraction" and it is only going to get worse. Leaders must filter and focus, and stay focused.

Urgent Patience. This is one of those paradoxes, or at least creative tensions. Patience and urgency. An urgency filled patience. Be both at the same time. Be one or the other as the situation requires.

Tell stories and listen. Future leaders that will be great will know how to tell stories. They will also know how to listen to and for the stories of others, and create places where those stories can be told. 

Humble strength. Another paradox, and one that is deeply rooted in the Bible. It is also one of the signs of Level Five (Jim Collins) leadership. Have courage and yet lead in ways that are authentic, transparent, and self-effacing. Ego will be the source of RUIN for leaders. Always has been, always will be.

Synchronicity. I love this word. It is the surprising convergence of "coincidences." I like to talk about divine serendipity. The secret workings of God that make connections that are catalytic and synergistic (sorry for all these big words, but each one is a great word). Connections. Linkages. See them. Find them. Work with them.

Disciplined readiness. You need to be able to anticipate, prepare, practice and spring into action at any moment.


Do some self-assessment.
How are you on these eight themes?


Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International