“Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“If only I had known,” is one of the saddest phrases in the English language. It’s not just sad because it’s usually said after something bad happens. It’s sad because quite often we could have known if we would have just stopped to think about it ahead of time.
I meet a lot of leaders who are incredibly busy people. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I met a leader who wasn’t busy. Leaders wear lots of hats, get all kinds of questions, fill numerous roles, etc. All that stuff takes time. When I bring up the idea of taking time to plan for the future with leaders, they all could come up with legitimate excuses for not doing so.
But not all of them do. The really successful leaders understand that one of the most critical pieces of the job (the most critical piece?) of being a leader is preparing for the future. Leaders have to think about what customers will want in the future, what resources the organization will need to fulfill those wants, what the competition might be doing, and on and on.
You can’t claim to be doing your job as a leader if you aren’t regularly taking time to think about WHERE you want your business to be. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re effective. You have to be focused on what’s critical, and very few things are more critical than the future.
Look at your business & your role in it. Are you spending time thinking about the future? Are you doing research about what’s going on in your industry? Are you staying up to date with what’s going on from a people standpoint? Are you aware of impactful technologies that are on the horizon? You certainly can get help from others for all of those things, but somebody better be doing it and you as the leader better know what’s going on.
You have the same amount of time in a day as other busy leaders, and the best of them are thinking about the future. Don’t use the “I’m too busy” excuse. Do you job and think about what’s next.