I invited several top leaders, authors, and bloggers to share their wisdom with Leadership Freak readers. Thanks to Skip Prichard for sharing this insightful post filled with advice on driving toward the future.
Years ago, I walked into the room mid-conversation. A small group was gathered to talk about a customer problem and what could be done about it. There was a colorful PowerPoint presentation on a big screen. Slide after slide, I wondered when we would stop reviewing the history and get on to solving the problem.
Finally, I interrupted and tried my best to use the kindest tone possible so as not to offend the speaker.
“This is fascinating, and I think everyone read what got us here in the email. We don’t have much time left, and we haven’t started brainstorming solutions. Would it be okay with you if we skipped to that part?”
Instead of being offended, the presenter exhaled loudly. His shoulders relaxed and he said, “I was hoping to not have to go through all of that.”
Leadership is primarily about moving forward. Sure, there are times you need to review history, but you can’t let yourself get stuck there. It’s far easier and more comfortable to stay in the past. A leader’s job is to lead the team to a better future.
5 ways to create the future:
- Focus the team on tomorrow’s solutions, not today’s problems
- Reduce distractions, naysayers, and complainers from slowing progress
- Invite all participants to freely speak their minds and welcome all ideas
- Use positive momentum to keep the team moving
- Reinforce behaviors that point the way ahead
It’s always easier to stay where we are comfortable. But don’t become an expert on the problem; become known as someone who drives to a better future. That’s the essence of leadership.
How might leaders drive to a better future?