“There is no such thing as a foreseeable future.” – David McCulloch
One of the frustrations I hear from leaders on a regular basis is that, right now, the future seems so uncertain. I understand why they say that, given everything that’s going on in the world. We’ve all experienced things in the past twelve months that we’d never dreamed of prior to that. We’ve all had to figure out new ways of doing things in virtually every aspect of our lives.
The problem is that a lot of leaders are using that uncertainty as an excuse to do nothing. We don’t know what the future holds, so we’ll just play everything safe. And maybe in your particular situation that’s the right thing to do.
But remember that the future is never certain. If every time we weren’t sure what the future held we curled up in a ball and hid in the basement then we’d be there for the rest of our lives. You can’t use uncertainty as an excuse for inaction.
Think about the next 12-18 months. No, you don’t know exactly what they’ll be like. But you also weren’t born yesterday. If you think about your business, your industry, your customers, your competitors, etc., you can probably paint a picture in your head of at least a couple different scenarios.
Now ask yourself – how will you handle those scenarios? If possibility #1 happened, what would you do? What opportunities would it present? What obstacles would arise? What would it mean for the customers you serve? Ask yourself the same question about possibility #2, and, for each, think about what you need to do to be ready to handle them.
You’ll never be able to be perfectly certain of what’s next. Fifteen months ago, no would would’ve guessed we’d be where we are. But if you create and lead an organization that’s always thinking about the future, and that’s agile and capable of changing quickly, then you at least have a chance to handle it.
Don’t let the imperfect vision we have of the future stop you from preparing for it. You can choose to pursue the future you want, or you can let the future dictate to you. Contrary to what so many people think, it is a choice. Choose action.