So You Believe You Are a Forward Thinking Leader, Really?

Many in leadership roles believe or would like to believe they are forward thinking.  However reality paints a far different picture.



Yesterday’s blog I shared a story about a sales lead who probably believes he is forward thinking and yet his actions were just the opposite.

What do forward thinking behaviors truly look like because we have yet to become mind readers?

Open Minded to New Ideas

Those who think toward the future keep their minds open to new ideas, new ways of thinking.  Here is where the creativity to spur innovation happens. They may say “tell me more” instead of a first response of “no.”

Willing to Leave Their Comfort Zones

Change is happening at warp speed. Leaving what has always been comfortable is even more difficult with the speed of change. Being uncomfortable has become for them the “new normal.”

Invest Time in Reflection and Discernment

Sometimes life demands a quick response.  Other times life demands time for reflection and discernment. Quick decisions without reflection and discernment are not as necessary as some may believe.

Self Directed Learners

No longer is life long learning the necessary path. Today those who are self directed learners truly are ahead of the flow.  These individuals learn what they need to know to get to that next level.  They optimize the many learning opportunities from webinars to paid online classes to seminars to reading books and other publications.

Questioning Mentality instead of Acceptance One

Another characteristic of forward thinking leaders is they continually engage in a questioning mode.  They do not readily accept the status quo.  Many of there questions begin with “What if….?”

Not Afraid of Being Unliked

Human beings are social creatures.  They innately want to be liked by other humans.  Those who are truly forward thinking recognize they may not be liked and they can accept this. This behavior is absolutely essential for those in leadership roles be they parents, managers or high level executives.

Believing There Are Better Results

The driving force behind this type of forward thinking leadership is better results. Leaders believe results can always be better.

If after reading these seven characteristics of forward thinking leadership and you believe you have one if not all of these traits, then write down how your behaviors have demonstrated these traits. This requires reflecting on recent exchanges and asking yourself questions such as “Was I really open to that new idea?” or “Was I willing to be unliked because of my decision?”  By taking this action, you may be surprised that you are not as forward thinking as you think you are.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leadership in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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