Focus on the Future: How to Be More Forward-Looking

What single quality differentiates high-potential leaders from ordinary contributors in an organization?

It’s their ability to be forward-looking and focus on the future. To become a better leader or distinguish yourself as someone primed for promotion, you’ll want to develop your capacity to envision the future.

Focusing on the future sets leaders apart. The capacity to imagine and articulate exciting future possibilities is a defining competency — perhaps the most important one, next to honesty.

Leaders must be able to answer the question, “Where are we going?” We look to our leaders to envision a future, figure out where the organization must go to succeed, evaluate ideas for pragmatism and determine if they fit the company’s core mission. Leaders focus on how people, money, resources and organizational capabilities will work together to move from the present to a desired future.

Top executives estimate they spend only about 3 percent of their time thinking about, and getting others on board with, the critical issues that will shape their business 10 or more years down the road. It’s simply not enough time.

To become a better leader, your thinking must be future-oriented. You’ll need to become intensely curious about trends, both inside and outside your organization’s field. You’ll need a systematic way of staying informed and tracking changes.

This article summarizes three ways to become more forward-looking and develop your talents as a future-focused leader.


This is a brief synopsis of an 1600 & 900-word article suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.

The complete 1600-word article includes these important concepts:

  • What People Want from Leaders
  • How Far Can You See?
  • How to Develop Future Focus
  • Sparking Energy for What Really Matters
  • 3 Ways to Grow Your Future-Focus
    • Insight: Explore Your Past
    • Outsight: Imagine the Possibilities
    • Foresight: Survival of the Optimists
    • You Can See Forever


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