Seeing Beyond The Horizon
The horizon is closer now than it’s ever been.
I was listening to one of my favourite leadership voices recently, and I was reminded of one of his recent messages. John Maxwell was introducing the second publication of one of his earliest and most widely purchased books “Developing the Leaders within you 2.0” when he spent a few moments talking on the two themes – that effective leaders see more than others see, and they see before others see.
“A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do.”Leroy Eims
As leaders, what do we see in this season as we try to look beyond the horizon, and at the journey ahead of us to get there? One thing is for sure: the horizon that we can see is much closer than it has been for several generations.
Talking to leaders around the UK a consistent theme is that people are exhausted. Because of this Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had weddings postponed (for me, this includes my son, 2 nephews and a niece) and we’ve had funerals with no opportunity for a wake or celebration of their life (for me, this includes my mother-in-law who passed away last year), the worry of medically vulnerable friends and relatives (for me, this includes my wife, Sue), and underlying all of that we’ve had to adopt significantly different behaviours in terms of our everyday lives.
You’ve probably heard of and will resonate with, the analogy of us all being on different boats in the same storm. We all have our personal situation to navigate – our boat, as well as our public and professional lives to pursue while travelling through the strange landscape of this Pandemic – the storm.
Some years ago I found a new interest in history and I found myself listening to a Podcast entitled: “A History of Europe: Key Battles”. One thing I discovered on listening to that podcast was that the history of Europe was pretty much filled with long periods where nothing of much significance changed – seasons of stability – interspersed with periods of intense activity, usually caused by wars.
The times we’re living through could be likened to such a period, something that could be considered very like a war with all the trials and trauma, and associated costs to our economy, of a war – the war against this disease called COVID-19. However, not only do we have the Pandemic with all the civilian casualties. Social inequality in all its forms is being brought into clear focus, we’ve got global warming making its presence known with fuel both for both cars and for homes soon becoming all-electric. In the midst of it all, there is a constant desire and call from many to “get back to normal”.
I was reminded of the story of Moses, and the time he was leading his people out of Egypt, through the wilderness on their way to the promised land. Moses had a similar problem in the wilderness on many occasions where the people grumbled and wanted to “go back to Egypt”. Yet, Moses knew that he had a vision and a mission to fulfil, and he continued to follow where God was leading him despite all of the protests and grumblings going on around him (see examples in Exodus 14 & 16 and Numbers 14 & 21 amongst many others).
In an earlier blog I have shared some details of the journey I’ve been on over the last couple of years, and in particular where I was challenged to consider: Can you trust God, will you follow where He is leading?
Was I fully prepared for what I picked up? No, absolutely not. I have made so many mistakes in so many ways, particularly over the last 6 months. However, I have been reminded many times of the exhortation to “Jump, and build your wings on the way down”, and I come back to the belief that I am following where God is leading me. Especially in these uncertain times, all people of faith need to come back to that question: “Where is God leading you in your ministry, in your vocation, in your career”.
We’ll be talking a lot about that at this year’s conference – The Global Leadership Summit GLS-2021 – which will be held in six locations across the UK this autumn.
Never before has it been so difficult to provide effective leadership for our teams. I come back regularly to the fact that in uncertain times (in this VUCA – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous – world), we desperately need leaders to do what they do best – people like you and me – to lead their teams; our teams need people to bring certainty into their uncertain world.
We’ll be talking about that too at this year’s conference.
For us in the UK, we are still emerging into the post-pandemic world, with churches and offices only just starting to re-open properly. Most of the changes we’ve experienced in our lifetimes have been introduced over many years. However, this pandemic has compressed the timescales for the adoption of this new – digitally online connected – reality into a few short months.
It seems to me that this journey is a bit like moving house. My current house has a kitchen, a lounge, and a dining room. More modern houses have a lounge diner, or perhaps a kitchen diner layout, and many are now open plan (although I suspect that’s not been so helpful as we try to find a space on our own to work while our children are being home-schooled).
It’s as if we packed up our belongings in boxes before the Pandemic, loaded them on a removals van, and moved house. Now that we’ve moved and we start to unpack our belongings into the new reality, we need to do the same things but sometimes in different ways. Things that used to happen in the same room (at the same time, or at the same event), now happen in different rooms. So, when we used to have a meeting or attended a conference, lots of things happened at the same time, including having time to chat with one another and spend time just “catching up”. In our new house we’ll need to do those same things but in different rooms.
On the upside, why travel to Bristol, or London, and spend an entire day (with associated travel costs) for an event that takes a couple of hours? Even locally, why spend an hour getting up early and driving through rush-hour traffic to attend a morning event and get home just in time for lunch, when the event takes just 90 minutes. Now, a 90-minute meeting takes … 90 minutes!
So, what are we doing at the Global Leadership Network in this coming season – in 2021 and 2022? Why not check out our website and follow the links to the Global Leadership Summit 2021 and find out!
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.