The book Anticipate – The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead is the result of a journey that started in 2005. Facing an audience of senior leaders, I asked: “What is the one word you’ll find in every definition of leadership?” They immediately fired the word “vision” back at me. In the following weeks, I repeated this question to various audiences, and nearly all of them would give me the same response. For many people, apparently, it’s kind of a no-brainer that leaders should first and foremost have a vision.
But something interesting would happen after I posed that first question. I would point out to the audience that they were all leaders, and ask them if they felt that they had a vision. And remarkably, nobody would raise their hand…
This fascinated me. Something seemingly so obvious, and so widely known in the leadership field, was theoretically considered to be a vital leadership aspect, but rarely practiced in real life by those whom it concerned. This discovery prompted me to explore four themes:
The journey resulted into a number of fresh and unique insights. Above all, I came to discover that visioning can be learned, and your visionary capacity can be nurtured. And that, despite the widespread acknowledgement of its importance, literature to-date had been grossly neglected providing direction and ideas on how to systemically improve your visionary self as a leader.
You will find my answers to these questions in the book, underpinned by solid academic concepts, real life stories, practices and a large number of ideas and insights from the combined strategic, psychological, narrative, developmental, creative, and leadership disciplines.
For more on the book, go here.
For some excerpts, go here.