“Are you managing today, or creating tomorrow?”

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men for they act out their dream with open eyes to make it possible.” T.E. Lawrence

There are two basic kinds of leaders. Those who solve today’s problems known as managers, and those who create the future known as strategic thinkers. Both are vital for success, but everything goes better when the team leader has strategic planning skills and above average team-building skills. If not, the team gets lost like a ball in high weeds trying to figure out the details.

When managing-type leaders, those energized by the details are in charge; the organization loses momentum, stops its passionate pursuit of the vision and active inertia sets in. If you’re the Captain, establishing the vision and finding a clear path to get there must be a core value and your top priority.

Do your core leaders focus more on today’s problems, or tomorrow’s opportunities? Do you have an achievable action plan that aligns your team members’ behaviors with the teams’ values and goals?

Leaders who say they have a vision but no plan (strategy) to get there, not only amaze me, they also alarm me because of the disappointment they create for their followers. Strategic planning (creating the future) directs the investment of resources, generates focused direction for the team and provides accountability for the results.

Great leaders never give in to the pressures of present reality at the expense of creating a path to the future. If they do they no longer have a future, but simply a duplication of today in all of their tomorrow’s.

If you can’t create a compelling future, develop a team of competent leaders, build a passionate and engaged team and gather adequate resources, you should stop trying to lead and start following a leader who can.

There are many very good people with outstanding talents and skills it’s just creating the future is not one of them. They are frustrated and their team is confused and disappointed. Titles and positions will never replace what God never intended. Don’t attach your ego to either one because if you do and they go away so does your self esteem.

You must fully embrace who God made you and who he did not. Your value as a leader should never be determined by whether you manage today or create tomorrow. Both are critical to the success of any organization.

“The future belongs to those who see the possibilities before they become obvious.” John Scully