In my over three decades of working closely with over a thousand leaders, I have always stressed that their must be a delicate balance between the expertise received from past experiences and observations, and adapting proactively both for present needs, and for future adaptations. I have witnessed far too many who have over- relied on the past, as well as many who decide to opt to literally throw the baby out with the bath water (meaning attempt a complete overhaul). In almost all cases, the best leadership model is to learn from the past, but prepare for both the present with a keen eye on the future needs and developments. A famous Japanese proverb states, "He who can see three days ahead will be rich for three thousand years."
1. Great leaders understand that there are important lessons to learn from the past, and that there is no substitute for hands- on experience to gain true expertise. However, they also realize that while these lessons are important, things change, in life, in the organization, and in society at large, and those organizations who fail to adapt often either perish or at the very best weaken. True professionals therefore understand that continuous tweaking, and evolutionary change is necessary and prudent. When changes are too dramatic, organizations often risk alienating or turning off some of their present loyal members. Evolutionary and progressive changes almost always is the preferred method of updating, and upgrading an organization.
2. I often stress the need for a true leader to have an essential vision, and to set his goals and his course of action based on the needs to achieve that vision. That permits the leader to focus everything done on a priority oriented method and approach, and to stay on course, instead of emphasizing and getting bogged down in far less essential issues. In observing hundreds of organizations over my more than thirty year career, it has always amazed and disappointed me that the vast majority of organizations spend excessive time and effort discussing less important, even somewhat menial/ trivial items, while spending insufficient time, energy or resources on their real, true needs.
True leaders must always look forward in terms of all their planning and action. Many go askew because they only look narrowly on present needs, while others seem to fixate on the past (the way we've always done things). In order for a leader to achieve greatness, he must understand and appreciate the past, identify and address present needs, but most do these things in the context of its impact on the future. Too many in leadership adopt a myopic point of view, and seem not to fully realize the big picture. In organizational leadership, everything done or avoided today has a dramatic impact, and ramifications for the future.
Richard Brody,with over 30 years consultative sales,marketing,training,managerial, and operations experience,has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as a company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs, and regularly blogs on real estate, politics, economics, management, leadership, negotiations, conferences and conventions, etc. He has negotiated, arranged and/ or organized hundreds of conferences and conventions. He's a Senior Consultant with RGB Consultation Services, an Ecobroker, a Licensed Buyers Agent (LBA) and Licensed Salesperson in NYS, in real estate.
Richard has owned businesses, been a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has a Consulting Website ( http://tinyurl.com/rgbcons ), and his company PLAN2LEAD, LLC's site ( http://www.plan2lead.net/ ), and can be followed on Twitter