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Leadership Truth #4: Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart

Here’s Leadership Truth #4 from The Truth About Leadership  by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner:  Focusing on the future sets leaders apart.

The first question that people ask of a leader is “Who are you?”  The second question is “What is your vision?”   Kouzes and Posner say that “the capacity to imagine and articulate exciting future possibilities is the defining competence of leaders. . . They think beyond what’s directly in front of them, peer into the distance, imagine what’s over the horizon, and move forward toward a new and compelling future.”


The authors challenge leaders to spend more time in the future.   “Spend time reading about, thinking about, and talking about the long-term view.  Make it your business to spend time studying the future.”  


They go on to quote Michael Hyatt, CEO of publishing company Thomas Nelson, “Leadership is more than influence.  It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build – and why it matters.  It is about painting a picture of a better future.  It comes down to pointing the way and saying, “C’mon.  We can do this!”


The authors wrap up this leadership truth by stating “None of this can be done by a pessimist.  You must remain optimistic and hopeful about what is yet to come.  You must truly believe that the future will be brighter and be confident that we’ll get there together.  A positive difference can only be made by a positive leader.”


Are you focusing on the future for your team and your company?

Leadership Development


To achieve big goals, you need leaders who are aligned, skilled, and confident in building and growing a culture dedicated to your company’s purpose.

Clarity of purpose comes first.  With the strongest teams, it’s at top of mind every day.  Others may have it, but maybe it’s been neglected or gotten a little stale.  We’ll work with you and your team to review and re-ignite it, and then to gain commitment at all levels throughout your organization.  Clarity of purpose is that important in a truly high-performance culture.

From there, working closely with you, we’ll custom-craft a “process approach” to building your leadership team.  What’s a “process approach?”  Becoming a more effective leader doesn’t happen in a single meeting – it’s a process of learning.  We focus on confidence, not just competency, and this development takes place over time – in the meeting room, on outside excursions, between sessions while working with direct reports, in coaching conversations – while actively engaged in work, or during those rare moments of reflection and re-energizing. 

  • Modular formats that allow intensive and participative work on the leadership skills that inspire and grow a highly-motivated, engaged team
  • Throughout, a center-stage focus on trust and personal accountability
  • Highly acclaimed, state-of-the-art assessment tools that guide leaders in using awareness to increase their own effectiveness

Always custom-designed for every client organization, key elements of an RCTaylor Group leadership development process will usually include:

  • Setting clear, inspiring goals, and critical expectations
  • Learning to be a great mentor and coach
  • Leading through periods of change and growth
  • Maximizing the engagement of team members at all levels
  • Becoming confident and effective at evaluating and improving performance
  • Addressing and resolving conflict
  • Shared leadership” – spreading the learning through the organization

The RCTaylor Group designs and conducts leadership development processes for senior, high-potential, and “emerging leader” levels.  Processes include group learning as well as one-to-one leadership coaching along the way. 

Why is every client’s process different?  The simple answer:  every client’s needs are different For a large multi-national company, we crafted a process to address its purpose and strategic initiatives, tailored it for regional requirements, and then delivered it to leaders at multiple sites.  For another smaller company, we created a blended process that addressed the critical link between leadership excellence and employee engagement.  At the RCTaylor Group, we’ll take the up-front time with you to understand your organization and your leadership group, and then prepare just the right process for your people.