In a world where hindsight is undervalued, foresight is overestimated, and near-term reactions seem to be winning the day, long-sightedness is rare.
Long-sightedness is wisdom’s domain, so it's not difficult to imagine what happens when a long-sighted perspective is not in the conversation. In fact, long-sightedness sets a table where past (hind), present (near-term) and future (fore) can come together for conversation rather than shout angrily from a cold distance.
Pick a topic, any topic:
- Investment strategy
- Climate change
- Defining fashion
- The importance of gender identity
- Urban planning (your city or mine, it doesn’t matter)
- The scandal at a nearby congregation
- The decline of print newspapers
- Dealing with a cantankerous customer
- An especially besetting issue you are facing
- What perspective does hindsight offer?
- What trends do a forecast indicate?
- What is tempting to do right now and why?
- What will matter about this in the long-term?
Engaging long-sightedness places us at a remove, a place from which to look at the dynamic in its entirety (past, present and future), a place where we can see connections and systems and momentum and not be overwhelmed by complexity.
Even more, we can connect most deeply to the mission we say we love, the one that drives us and should drive our decisions.
Long-sightedness is a mental discipline rather than a calendar appointment.
Long-sightedness is Yoda, Gandalf, the prophet Elisha and Dumbledore.
Long-sightedness cares about ancestry and progeny, and that progeny beget progeny.
Long-sightedness is leadership, not just management.
Long-sightedness is stewardship.
What's holding your nonprofit back?
About the Author
Mark L. Vincent's personal involvement in walking beside leaders and organizations as they build for tomorrow comes from 30 years of business planning, revitalizing organizations, leading complex decision-making scenarios and bringing thought leadership to the intersections where enterprise, values and economics meet.