STOP thinking in the past- Only forward thinking allowed from now on!
Instigating a leadership revolution within her organization, Dana Bristow decided to shift gears to the point in maximizing her employees to be empowered, use their critical thinking skills and have them begin with finding and using their true potential. While Dana’s organization is still doing well, she wants to stay ahead of her competition.
You start out with seeing a problem and then try to solve it in a new way. You use your critical thinking skills, get creative and put yourself out for others to notice what you do and maybe how you do what you do best.
How many people do you know who are both forward thinkers and thought leaders? As a traditional leader, sometimes your thoughts go beyond boundaries where you explore pushing beyond the status quo.
Different Mindset is Required
A forward-thinking leader, also known as a visionary, is always thinking in terms of moving forward. Nothing in life is so perfect that it never needs to be redefined or tweaked. In short, someone who is a forward-thinker is thinking progressively and processes the ability to look beyond the “now” and formulates strategies for future success. They are constantly asking “What’s Next?”
One favorite leadership mindset is that of forward thinking. You may not generally consider setting out on a road without a destination, and you certainly would not do it time and time again. Mastering forward thinking takes on a lot as others expect great extraordinary things from you that are of a different perspective than others.
Developing a thought leader mindset takes time, discipline and innovation. Leaders with a growth mindset (who assume talents can be developed) place high value on learning are open to feedback. They are also confident in their ability to cultivate their own and others abilities.
“Individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together.”
Frank Burns on the television program M.A.S.H.
This is definitely not the way or the style forward thinking thought leaders would do things. Many view a thought leader as influential.
Thinking of Possibilities
Some people look at being a forward thinker as having a different mindset. It goes beyond this to develop your critical thinking skills.
Using critical thinking enables leaders at every level to understand the impact of aligning their decisions with organizational goals. Added with this is accountability for the results you want.
Examine your organization. Are you prepared to take risks and explore new ideas? Or are you like many organizations still relying on old habits and old ways of doing things?
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” - Walt Disney
Take a look in the mirror and see what you really need to be aware of. Be aware of how things affect you and impact you as a leader. Ask for feedback without any backlash to others. Watch for blind spots, fatal flaws, weaknesses and habits that may get in your way so you can resolve them.
Take Some Risks
Forward thinkers are not afraid to take chances and try new things. They stretch the boundaries of what is known and acceptable. Since visionaries are leaders who challenge themselves and their organization to push the envelope of change, have the willingness to admit when you are wrong. This lets your employees know you are accountable and responsible for your actions.
Always ask questions. Ask questions like “Why?” This is very much like what children do. Then ask, “Why not?” “Why can’t we do it?” Even if it hasn’t been done before, can it be done now?
Your Next Move
Navigating where you want to go next needs great vision, setting SMART and HARD goals and communicate clearly to your employees where you see the organization going from here. Get the feedback you need and want in order to see solutions to problems others do not see.
Forward thinking leaders plan for how to bring out the best in themselves and in their people.
“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour” – Mary Kay Ash