There are people out there who study the future and try to plan for eventualities. Their vision is so forward looking that they are called futurists.
I didn’t really understand the word until recently. My interest was peaked by a passage written by Alan Loy McGinnis, Bringing Out the Best in People.
He wrote, “The best leaders are more than optimists (though almost every good motivator is a strong positive thinker). They are also futurists. That is, they love to live in the future, dream about the future, talk about the future – and they are always urging people around them to do the same.”
It’s a curious thought. I think the benefits of being a futurist leader we would be:
Sharing your vision is the same as inviting those around you to participate. By trusting your employees to your vision, they feel included in the journey.
Employees understand the Big Picture. This helps them pull in the same direction as you.
Talking out loud allows questions. Your employees can help you understand some other considerations that are needed. Better yet, they can help you with those considerations.
Optimism is better than gloom. Have you ever felt that somehow your bad mood negatively influenced an employee? The opposite would have to be true. Your optimism about the future should affect your employee positively leading to better engagement and less turnover.
Your connection with your employees will grow. They may start to share their own dreams with you thereby deepening the bond.
Help others deal with the change. Change is so much easier when you know it’s coming. Futurists expect change, and you’ll better prepare your team for it.
What do you think about being a futurist? Does it have benefits? Please share your thoughts.
Disclaimer: No one has paid me to mention this book. It is one of my favorite books to keep around and browse through every once in awhile. You can pick up your copy on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles. For your convenience, here are the links: