How to Develop Future Focus

How do you develop your capacity to be future-focused? In the work I do coaching clients, I recommend leaders carve out some time each week to imagine possibilities of what may be out there.

Start with 2 hours per week, using the time to learn about what are the trends in your industry, with your customers, with the potential future of your products and services. You can read magazines, books and/or online research.

Top executives estimate they spend only about 3 percent of their time thinking about, and getting others on board with, the critical issues that will shape their business 10 or more years down the road. It’s simply not enough time.

Sparking Energy for What Really Matters

Here’s the problem: In tough economic times, everyone hunkers down on tactics. They focus on survival and results. Decisions become pragmatic. After a while, however, this short-term approach grinds us down, and we lose sight of the big picture,the business strategy.

In today’s difficult times, people need to be reminded of why they are doing what they do—and why it matters(purpose). This is when leaders can step up and make a difference. Leadership is more than encouraging high-performance; it’s about reminding people of what they are trying to build and why it matters.Creating hope and engendering trust.

In many ways, leadership supplies oxygen to keep the fires going. When people are mired in day-to-day work details, they can lose their bearings. An effective leader makes a difference by helping people see their role in building a better future.

It’s your job to connect the dots for people in the work they do. Show them how their work contributes to the results of the organization. Map out how what they do today ties to what the company is trying to build for the future.

What are you doing to keep the fires of engagement burning in your people? I’d love to hear from you.

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