Anticipation as Leadership Advantage

The way to maximize the present is to anticipate the future.

Anticipation enhances influence and expands leadership:

Don’t simply meet today’s challenges. Anticipate tomorrow’s opportunity. This is especially true when developing and challenging team members. It’s also true when serving customers. But how?

Listen to the aspirations and plans of internal team members and external customers. Your hopes for others aren’t as important as their hopes for themselves.

Opportunities for leadership emerge when you understand another’s aspirations and anticipate their opportunities.

Your leadership has greater value when you’re helping someone get where they want to go. It’s surprisingly easy to learn another’s aspirations.

People enjoy talking about their dreams if they trust you. 

You can’t anticipate in a vacuum. Get to know people. Spend time listening. We must know people in order to understand aspirations and anticipate opportunities.

Listening increases efficiency and multiplies influence.

Leaders of value help others fulfill their aspirations. How might you help your boss fulfill his or her aspirations, for example? (You might insert customer, colleague, spouse, or child in the previous sentence.)

Anticipate the future by observing patterns from the past.

  1. Recurring topics of conversation?
  2. Repeated frustrations?
  3. Consistent language?
  4. Nagging fears? Fear invites foresight.
  5. Points of satisfaction and fulfillment?
  6. Successes?
  7. Failures?

Point out patterns you notice. We tend to get lost in the weeds. People may not realize their patterns. When you say, “I notice that you frequently talk about relationships,” you tell people they matter.

Others value you, when you anticipate their challenges and opportunities.

How might leaders anticipate needs and opportunities?