“Good Leadership is planning for as far as you can see. Great leadership is preparing for what you cannot see.”

Great leadership is looking beyond today’s horizon and seeing around corners. It’s seeing what poor leaders do not see, or they see it and don’t know what to do about it.

Great leaders develop their leadership team and plan their strategy for “that” world, the one no else sees, not the one on today’s radar, the one even poor leaders can see.

Why are great leaders able to lead people to places they’ve never been, and accomplish what others only dream of, but never seem able to accomplish?

Here are seven ways you can be the leader you’ve always dreamed of and every organization so desperately needs:

1. Believe, speak, and act as if your vision is tomorrow’s reality. If you cannot do this, the rest of this list doesn’t matter.

2. Open the eyes of your team to what could be, not just today’s reality. Inspire their spirits to believe it will happen, not just could happen.

3. Model daily acts of service that build trust and relational equity with your team and all your stakeholders. Without doing this, you become a drum no one hears.

4. Don’t cave in to your critics, or puffed up by your flatterers, or moved by the winds of resistance. Leadership is not for the weak or the arrogant.

5. Stay encouraged while everyone around you maybe discouraged. You can never help others be what you are not. Be a hope-dealer, not a dream-killer.

6. Never quit until the goal is reached. Always have the next goal in line before completing your current goal. If you don’t, energy wains and momentum is lost.

7. See the leadership potential in everyone and find a way to exploit it, even if it’s only leading themselves better. Don’t recruit helpers, empower future leaders.

Great leaders focus on tomorrow while average leaders focus on today. Great leaders plan while average leaders think. Great leaders prepare while average leaders plan. Great leaders execute while average leaders prepare. Great leaders win while average leaders watch the clock run out.

Great leaders inspire their team to execute today’s plan based on yesterday’s preparation. They plan for as far as they can see and remain in a constant mode of preparation for what they can’t see.

What’s on your leadership radar today? Do you have a well-thought-out action plan already in place? Is your team prepared and ready to respond?

Until you know the difference between planning for today and preparing for tomorrow your team is going to struggle with your leadership.