How Leaders Predict the Future

The ridiculous notion that you know what’s going to happen tomorrow causes false confidence today. This is verifiable in the buying and selling of stocks, for example.

Daniel Kahneman’s research suggests that our ability to predict which stocks to buy or sell is as accurate as flipping a coin. Most who get rich on the stock market should attribute their success to luck.

Create it, don’t predict it:

Drucker said, “The only way to predict the future is to create it.”

If the present is unsatisfactory, it’s likely you made a poor decision yesterday.

Picture the future:

Imagine your preferred future…

  1. Relationally. What types of relationships do you want?
  2. Financially. Where would you like to be?
  3. Personally. How would you like to feel about yourself when you wake up tomorrow?
  4. Managerially. How do you want your team/customers to think of you?
  5. Organizationally. What does your preferred work environment feel like?

The past is the future for the passive.

What do you need to do right now that makes your preferred future likely?

  1. If you want your team to function effectively without you, what do you need to stop doing? What do they need to start doing?
  2. If you want a fulfilling marriage, how do you need to treat your spouse now?
  3. How might you develop self-reliance in your children today? (Assuming you don’t want them living in your basement until they’re 40.)
  4. What do you need to do now to create an organization people love working at tomorrow?

Hand-wringing isn’t the answer.

It’s self-defeating to justify an unsatisfying present by pointing fingers at others. Don’t think for a minute that your life would be better if someone else made it better.

Creating the future is the work of leaders.

In an unstable world, the best option is creating the future now.

How might leaders create their preferred future today?