Future ready leaders question the status quo – challenge assumptions and ask better questions.
In the past leaders didn’t question the rules, they followed them and they didn’t challenge the status quo they did what he or she was told.
Today, following the rules can lead to extinction (think the leaders of Kodak who followed the rules to stick with print photos) and not pursue digital even though they had the technology way before anyone else.
Or think of Blockbuster and how they stuck to the rules of VHS and DVD and could have easily been market leaders in digital downloaded programming before Netflix came along.
The need for critical thinking and better questions is absolutely crucial for leaders to stay on the leading edge of opportunities and to innovate before becoming extinct.
The three questions that future ready leaders need to ask themselves are:
- What if what we feared the most in our business were to actually happen?
- What am I most afraid of as a leader with the direction we are heading in our business?
- What would a future look like if the very things we dreaded were to come to be?
These questions may seem negative however what they do is help leaders to be truthful about the future rather than to avoid or deny that the things they fear the most could actually come to be.
When a leader is willing to face the future with the lens of truth there is boldness and a candidness that leads to better questions for the team.
Once you as a leader asks yourself the above questions then you can bring bigger and more expansive questions to your teams.
Questions such as:
- Can we imagine a future where in our industry all jobs will be replaced by robots? What would that look like?
- Does our business solve big world problems such as poverty or injustice?
- How can we serve a bigger ‘why’ with what we do?
The future demands that all of us as leaders ask very different and challenging questions in order to get to new levels of innovation as we lead towards the future of work.