(Reposted from Sam Rainer)
If you do not make assumptions about the future, then you are not leading. Good leaders constantly assess the cultural climate. In other words, they do research. Good leaders are also willing to change their assumptions. In other words, they are flexible. Holding firm to assumptions from the Y2K era is about as relevant as giving a set of Pokemon cards to your kids this year for Christmas.
So at the end of every year, I pause to challenge my underlying assumptions of what I believe the future holds. Vision is a key to leadership, and the nature of vision requires an assumption of what will happen in the future. Therefore, you cannot lead unless you are thinking about the future.
In a recent article about Ford Motor Company, the head of their trends and futuring department revealed several assumptions about the coming year. Though Ford is trying to determine consumer demand for automobiles three years in advance, their research is valuable to the church because they are assessing global trends within sociology, economics, technology, and politics, among others.
So what trends should the church expect to help define the cultural climate of 2013?
As the following infographic illustrates, organizations spend, on average, $1228 per employee on leadership development. One of the biggest concerns is developing emerging leaders. 56% of companies say they will soon face a shortage of qualified talent and are speeding up the leadership development process.
The business environment is rapidly changing, and organizations must promptly adapt or they will suffer negative consequences. One of the keys to adaptation is to focus leadership development on our emerging workforce.
What else does this infographic say to you?
Infographic by Michigan State University.
Jonathan Byrnes wrote an article for the HarvardBusinessSchoolnewsletter Working Knowledge several years ago about leading change. According to Byrnes, there are eight leadership characteristics that are essential for leading paradigmatic change.
1. Capacity for passion
4. Organization skills
Additionally, Byrnes argued that some leaders are born; but others are made by intentionally developing these personal characteristics.
Which one of these characteristics best describes you?
Which characteristic do you most need to improve?