They say Wayne Gretzky was a step ahead of other players because he skated to where the puck was going to be.
Are you developing your up-and-coming leaders for where your markets and your environment are going to be? Will your leaders be prepared for the daunting complexity that’s coming? Or are you preparing them for today or maybe just the next year or two?
The Leadership Circle, whose 360 assessment profile and Culture Survey we use with our clients, says that even today’s (forget about tomorrow’s) leaders need to deal with cascading complexity. This calls for a level of adult development and habits of thought that support a clear vision, a strong results orientation, integrity, self-awareness, humility, systems thinking, and the ability to relate and collaborate.
I was therefore intrigued to read Bob Johansen’s book, Leaders Make the Future. He is a futurist who, for this tome, teamed up with the Center for Creative Leadership to identify the leadership skills needed to thrive amidst major external forces that are coming at us from over the horizon but have partly arrived already. Interestingly, I can see the thought patterns from The Leadership Circle weaving through all of Johansen’s skills.
Some of the future forces Johansen identifies are New Commons, Body Innovations, Diasporas, and Neuro-Futures. In the background are game changing trends like the emergence of Cloud-Serving Supercomputing, the growing Rich/Poor Gap, and the emergence of the Digital Natives (millenials, as well as the cohort that follows them). They all come together to create a planetary state that the author calls VUCA, for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.
If you are involved with the development of a pipeline of leadership talent in your organization, I recommend you read this book. Johansen says by presenting his ten “leadership skills for the future” he wants to provoke especially you folks to look at what you are currently having your leaders learn and vet it in the context of the convulsive changes that are in process as we speak.
To kick off your vetting, here are are the author’s ten skills:
- Maker Instinct
- Dilemma Flipping
- Immersive Learning Ability
- Constructive Depolarizing
- Quiet Transparency
- Rapid Prototyping
- Smart-Mob Organizing
- Commons Creating