Void the Future

Cleaning out old files today, I ran across a yellow piece of paper upon which the following was typed. The source for the wisdom shared is listed as follows:

By Steve Zaffron, The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life. Taken from Linda Compton, "The Future of Governance," BoardSource, November/December 2009 issue.

Leaders need to approach problems from a new angle--one that is counterintuitive at first glance. For every problem, there is a future that's already been written about it. This future includes people's assumptions, hopes, fears, resignation, cynicism, and "lessons learned" through past experience. It goes beyond what they expect to happen, hope will happen, or think might happen. This future lives at a gut level. We know it will happen, whether we can give words to it or not. We call this the "default future." And all of us live as if that future is preordained. We live into our default futures, unaware that by doing so we are making them come about. 
5 Specific Actions 
The solution to our problems requires a new kind of leadership, one in which people rewrite the future together. Leaders can take five specific actions to construct a future that causes them and others to live into it: 
1. Invite people to articulate the default future. Doing so reduces its impact.
2. Ask yourself and others, do we really want this default future?
3. If not, begin to speculate with others on what future would inspire action for everyone and address the concerns of everyone involved?
4. Allow people to struggle with whether they are aligned with this new future or not. If not, ask them for a proposal that inspires them and others.
5. Work until people say, "This speaks for me!" and they commit to it. 
Leadership that rewrites the future gets to the heart of performance. The result is not fixing one problem at a time, but transforming situations, leading to unprecedented results.
Leadership that rewrites the future, that transforms situations, leads to unprecedented results.

Great stuff.




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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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