A colleague recently remarked: “As the leader, I have one foot in the here and now and another foot in the future. My job is to figure out how to marry the two.”

It is an insightful observation and an ongoing challenge to balance what are often competing demands. There is urgency in the present but opportunity in the long-term. There are many others who are working in the daily operations and it can be lonely thinking about what lies ahead. The present is much more concrete and tangible while the future is replete with unknowns and ambiguity.

As a leader, you need to create your own system for juggling this continual tension. Carve out time on your calendar for planning and reflection. Attend professional development opportunities that focus on strategy rather than tactics. Have tools that trigger you for events months in advance. Cultivate a network that challenges your thinking and pushes you to think beyond the day-to-day.

Leading in the present is only half the role. Your organization and team count on you to take that other step to lead them into the future as well.

Thanks, Brian!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: