Leadership into tomorrow

(This blog is Adapted from a book I read, "The Futuring Leader" by Dr. Samm Chand)

A trait of a futuring leader is creative leadership. The word creativity may scare some. It means thinking outside the box and coloring out side the lines. It means daring to look around and envision what lies ahead. And it means questioning the old ways and asking, "Is there a newer, more efficient method?" Most futuring leaders do this instinctively, but all of us can also learn to think creatively.

Thinking creatively is one of the futuring leaders primary responsibilities. For things to happen, they have to dream and see the impossible as within their grasp. But to often the people who most need to think creatively lock themselves into one style of thinking. Instead, they need to incorporate three kinds of thinking.


Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking is another name for logical or analytical thinking. We are at point A, and we want to reach point B and then move to point C and on to D. This kind of visioning asks basic questions that can't be avoided:

Who is going to do it?
When will it get done?
How much is it going to cost? 
Who is going to be accountable for this project?
What are the marks for success and failure?
How do we evaluate the success or failure of the venture?
How do we know that we want to move from Bto C? Do we stay at B? Should we skip C and got to D?

Genius thinking
Genius thinking goes beyond strategic thinking. It begins by recognizing the available resources but it also recognizes that the resources are limited. Strategic thinking says. "This is what we have to work with, and this is what we are going to do. This is the amount of money we need, the number of people involved, and the space we require." The plan is laid out logically. Genius thinking starts at this point and seeks possibilities that others haven't considered. I like to think of it this way: The difference between a LEADER and a MANAGER is that a managers work with or "manage" resources that are given to them by LEADERS.

Leaders say, "We need more space and more workers. Now lets see what we can do to get more. "They search for creative ways to resource themselves. This isn't to say that we don't need managers - we do- but we need LEADERS first and managers to come behind and support them. No one should say that a leader is more important than a manager. If someone were to ask me which is more important, I'd have to respond with my own question: "What wing of the airplane is more important to keep flying? The left or the right" 

Oblique Thinking
Oblique thinking looks for options that are neither white nor black. Most of the time people think in the terms of either/or when they can bethinking of both/and.