Leaders Choose Their Futures, Sooner Over Later

As economic downturns lift, many people in business remain hesitant about driving forward with purposeful strategies. It is as though they remain in the dark, watching the rear view mirror and each side of the road for dangers ahead. Then when dawn is breaking, they find that the Sooners have beaten them again.

Think back in time. The Sooners were people who crossed the line into new territories in the Oklahoma land rush ahead of the starting time. In recessionary years it is almost as though many businesses keep “holding their horses” and as a result may have missed some earlier opportunities to hit pay-dirt.

Those holding back are conscientious people who mean well. They have good intentions. They believe they are protecting their organizations with carefully exercised prudence.

It is hard to quarrel with that wisdom in down times; but if you find yourself regretting your own timing and wishing you had invested more and sooner in what appears to be a continuing recovery, you ought to ask yourself whether your good intentions were really all that good for you or your organization.

Leaders who take a strategic, forthright, intentional posture to their futures (whether for their businesses or their own careers), place their eyes on the prize--not on conventional wisdom, the consensus of others, the law of averages or the uncertain behavior from a general statement of market conditions.

Consider those who apply a definite focus, who are clear and determined and do things on purpose. They are leaders who have a leg up on their futures. They operate with relish and assertiveness because they visualize opportunity. As a result, they marshal energetic support from their people --those critical folks who bring about the intended outcomes. Sometimes they execute on this vision with a sudden flourish, and in other cases after dogged hard work. 

These leaders are pro-choice. They are choosers who press for the future. They don’t spend precious time defending discarded strategies. They choose, instead, to lead the charge sooner rather than later.