The defining pillar of leading globally: Perceptive Leadership
"Brothers and sisters, today we launched the UAE Centennial 2071 project to put in place a vision that extends to five decades and to prepare the nation for future generations"
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, spoke as he launched a long term and sustainable UAE National Agenda.
Visionary leaders like HH Sheikh Mohammed are respected by countrymen and global citizens alike for their dynamism, care for people and a wide perception of subject’s requirements in their leadership horizon. These are leaders – only handful like him – who with their genuine interest seek out details and ask the right questions, to understand the needs of their constituents, even before they feel it.
Perceptive vision in this instance allows Leaders to get insights from deeper understandings and sharpen their awareness of the environment in which they thrive.
The future focused leader will have the ability to visualize the future needs in view of the developing environment and be able to articulate the vision, such that this not only inspires the members but also stretches them over their comfort zone. Before the leader can come to this stage the leader must have developed a perceptive vision that looks ahead, sees potential roadblocks and then is able to chart the path ahead.
I’ve always been enamored with this energizing quote from Star Trek “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Future focused leaders can do the bold act and chart a new way only when they’ve developed perceptive vision on sensing the future trends & smelling out opportunities.
Let’s examine 10 different ways of developing your perceptive vision:
1- With regular study of informative material, develop a strong understanding of the business environment, the success drivers and the trends that impact your business. An observant person will document these for sharing and cross referencing with peer groups.
2- Constant visits to the market place for observing competition activity allows one to gain insight on market costs, pricing and competitor positioning values.
3- Create a future focused narrative within the teams and reward those who bring in unique learnings.
4- Be mindful of the emotions that rise within you. The body and the subconscious mind has its own mechanism of sensing risks and feelings – which usually are ignored in the cacophony of distractions we are faced with on a daily basis.
5- Practice staying composed and avoid stress resulting from a surrounding trigger or a future anxiety. Take a brisk walk if you have to, get the blood and breath to run through the body and allow yourself to take a break from the stressed situation.
6- While this is easier said than done – maintain your mind in the Now and develop awareness to the issue at hand. This will allow for a greater sense of awareness and observation on the immediate tasks and to what is being said and what is being implied through body language.
7- Listen to the person and ask questions to clarify.
Have you experienced this as a flustered Manager at times when you charged in to ask ‘What’s the problem’ and attempted to dive into an immediate solution?
A wholesome alternative to this could be asking the team “What’s the ideal outcome from this situation that you seek and how do you propose doing that?”
8- Welcome people and allow your team to feel your genuine smile. A good atmosphere lends itself to increasing your intuitive and perceptive capabilities.
9- Stop judging people and instead focus on the facts. As I learnt some time back, “Soft on people, hard on facts”. Express your gratitude and shower genuine appreciation for jobs well done and this will have an effect of manifesting good things to happen.
10- Practice daily exercise and meditation. With all that’s happening around you, a dose of high intensity exercise, energetic breathing rejuvenates the body. Focusing on the breath even for 10 minutes allows your mind to be rested and clears the cobwebs of thoughts to allow for a clear envisioning.
“I used to sleep in the desert once every week, now it is every two weeks, most of the time alone. It’s beautiful.”
“We have grown to love goodness, courtesy and grace. We do not seek pride or bragging rights for doing good deeds; rather we are satisfied with God’s acceptance and the prayers of others, as this work is part of our duties as humanitarians.” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Wise words from a perceptive leader who walks his talk on the ground with eyes on the stars for the well-being of mankind.