Foresight Trumps Hindsight

As leaders we are often so caught up in the complexities of daily demands on our time that we don’t tap into our intuitive brain and mine it for the wealth of data being processed.

After dealing with multiple time-sensitive priorities, how often have you found yourself thinking “I wish I had considered that option.” Or “I should have ……”.

This is a common experience for leaders I speak with, and often they reflect that “With the value of hindsight ….”.

There are strategies we can introduce into our daily leadership practice to harness “foresight” rather than lament “hindsight”.

One of the best ‘foresight’ strategies is the simple, but often overlooked version of STOP, REFLECT, ACT.

While we learn this process early on in our journey to leadership, the pressures of competing priorities in the moment often preclude us from applying this simple process.

Why I advocate returning to this tried and true strategy:


Use this prompt any time you find your mind racing under pressure, jumping from one priority to another and struggling for focus.  Take yourself away from the situation and other people – go to a café with a note book and pen or tablet.


Now that you have removed yourself from the overwhelm - get the issues out of your head and onto the page. I recommend using a mind-mapping for all leaders I work with.


Having unpacked the priorities and chunked them into sizeable portions through your mapping exercise, apply foresight to map a clear pathway forward.  Mapping takes the emotions and anxiety out of the mix – even when there are issues about work relationships at play.  If the issue is complex - complete a high-level map of the situation, then map each of the key areas that are posing the challenge. Generally you will uncover the way forward by getting issues out of your head through mapping.

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