The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead

Rob-Jan de Jong

with Rob-Jan de Jong

Founder, Vongolo Consulting & DSI Affiliate

The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead

The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead 345 432 33Voices

Moe and Rob-Jan de Jong discuss how to tap into your ability to see things early and to communicate your vision to provoke action.

Learning to Anticipate an Unknowable Future

The hallmark of a great leader is the ability to ignite greatness in those around her; it’s both a responsibility and an essential discipline.  Several years ago, I saw a presentation where Tom Peters shared how one particular leader measured the effectiveness of his leadership team with one multifaceted question that anchored his annual performance reviews. “In the last year, name the three people whose growth you’ve most contributed to. Please explain where they were at the beginning of the year, where they are today, and where they are heading in the next 12 month. Please explain your development strategy in each case. Please tell me your biggest development disappointment – looking back, could you or would you have done anything differently? Please tell me about your greatest development triumph – and disaster. What are the ‘three big things’ you’ve learned about helping people grow along the way?”

I have since used that question with leaders I advise, and most importantly within my own organization, only to continue validating why bold leaders who continually take moon shots always put people before profits.  In my followup conversation with Wharton Associate Rob-Jan De-Jong, I was eager to drill deep into his latest book Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, and distinguish why some leaders can predict, with great accuracy an unknowable future.  His answers may not surprise you, but the approach he shares is much more scientific than you may think.