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Reflection: How Leaders See Reality

Preparing The Future Is Better Than Planning For It

Great leaders prepare.  They can see the big picture while keeping focused on the essentials, even in the midst of chaos.  They help their businesses and organizations anticipate future trends, set backs and opportunities.  Great leaders pay attention to the current conditions as well as the strategic next steps.  Present execution and future preparation go hand in hand.

Even though great leaders are looking ahead, very few look beyond their leadership influence.  Most do not consider the strategy of succession until it is looming upon them.  It is wise for us to start considering key questions about future leadership as early as possible.  Leaders that give attention to this critical element of preparation have a different definition of success and exemplify a deeper commitment to those they serve.

Forty-five leaders from the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa, gathered in Phoenix, Arizona just a few weeks ago.  This group represented the new leadership team preparing to take lead in their respect regions for the National Speakers Association.  I spent three days with this incredible group of men and women, experiencing a level of training that was outstanding.  Most of us had never met before; and yet within a few hours we had established a connection that will last a lifetime.  We merged different backgrounds, cultures, expertise, and personal history into a common experience.  The training helped us understand our history, gave us tools to manage the process, and inspired us to lead creatively. None of this was haphazard.  This meeting was intentional.

The leadership of the association understands the value of preparing future leaders.  They invest a substantial amount of their time and resources into succession.  They believe in it so deeply, the leaders conducting the training do so at their own expense!


Great leaders are prepared.  Succession planning must be met with successful preparation.

It is one thing to talk about whom you think will make a good leader in your business; it is a completely different thing to actually prepare them to be great leaders!  While you are balancing the current challenges and seizing new opportunities, make sure that you are intentionally equipping new leaders.

Leaders ViewPointe:

  1. It is my responsibility as a leader to develop a plan of succession.
  2. “Succession planning must be met with successful preparation.”  What are we doing to develop new leaders?
  3. Key Elements for Preparing Leaders: History, Process, and Permission to Lead.
  4. I need to ask: “What is my definition of success?  Is my commitment level evident to those I lead?  Am I willing to develop others, even at my own expense?”

I would love to hear what you are doing to prepare future leaders.  Please click on “Comments” below and submit your ideas for further dialogue with leaders around the world.


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