I. Foresight and Leadership
There are many effective ways to be a foresight leader, and some are already part of your life story. Others lie in your future, if that is your path. This chapter will outline a variety of social roles, industries, and departments where you can do and lead great foresight work. Recall that Chapter 2, Personal Foresight, covers some good tests to discover your personal workplace and foresight strengths. Those tests will help you make better choices among these options.
You may presently be or wish to become a foresight practitioner or professional, but not a foresight leader. So why do we use the L-word in this guide? First, we must recognize that each of us are self-leaders, seeking better world- and self-knowledge and vision. Second, building better foresight is a necessity to successful leadership, and for many people, the toughest step in becoming a leader. Third, remember that leaders are key contributors to organizational culture, and foresighted leadership is the shortest route to foresight culture. Finally, remember that the longer you work on your foresight practice, the more opportunities you will have to lead others via any of the Eight Skills. The extent to which you engage those opportunities is up to you. This guide seeks to help you see those opportunities, and to move from adaptive foresight to adaptive leadership whenever it feels appropriate to your personal and organizational journey.
You may be interested in many of the types of foresight work discussed in this chapter, but life is short and you won’t be equally good at all of them. A lucky few of us discover early in life which mix of choices we are best suited to, and start practice in an environment that best suits our strengths and interests and has the ideal level of challenge and reward. Most of us start out in less ideal conditions, and by preference or circumstance we do much switching of paths as our environment, opportunities, and goals change.