Since then, 18 months ago, I stood on a stage in Las Vegas and said this:

‘Big Leadership. Leaders with big vision who challenge the status quo, make bold decisions and take brave action. create the future.’

Then I went a step further and I wrote the book, Big Leadership, How CEOs Create The Future. I wanted to capture some of the critical ideas around the importance of proactive, expansive leadership in a changing world. Of the reponsibility that leaders have to elevate their own leadership, so that they can make a difference and contribute constructively and proactively to creating a future they want to be part of.

Since then, I have had the pleasure of working with many CEOs and their executive teams to help them to embrace the concepts of big leadership and to begin implementing them. Not just for themselves and their immediate teams, but across their organisations. Because these leaders know that in order to be relevant, to be current, and to have sustainable, commercially viable organisations they cannot sit in the status quo. They do need to develop and evolve. To future proof.


On the flip side, what I am still seeing are too many situations where leaders are overwhelmed and busy. They have conflicting and competing priorities, and they are spending much too much time and energy in the reactive space rather than the proactive space.


When you are reactive, you are not creating the future. You are not being sufficiently focused on the future. You tend to get focused on the here and now and what needs your attention right now. There is little space in which to lead.


When you are trapped in reactive, there are consequences. There is not enough space to think and create and be strategic…. because you are ‘too busy’, have lost focus, or simply don’t have the energy. This may lead to some of the strategically imperative areas missing out on your attention. Things like development. Your own development, and the development of your people.


Without focus on developing capability, over time, what that means is that your people, and even you, become less capable. Less able to execute in your roles as the world changes around you. Each of you may become relatively less equipped. Your comfort zone shrinks and what you, and they, are capable of becomes smaller.


What does this mean?


People are less able to cope with change. They are less able to contribute to solutions for problems and challenges. They feel less confident. They become less engaged, less productive, and less connected. They too become more reactive because they are not as in control.


They no longer have time for development either because they are in reactive mode. Potentially, you have a workforce of people who are less equipped, in a time when we know that more than 90% of the workforce needs to be reskilled or upskilled by 2030.

The gap of capability between where they need to be and where they are is expanding rather than closing. Simply because there is not sufficient proactive focus on developing capability and competence.


What is the impact?


When people are less capable, they become less proactive and more reactive. They potentially become more stressed, even burnt out. They are not as well able to cope with the circumstances. The cycle continues…. at the individual, team, any maybe the whole organisation level.


This cycle does not set you up for success in creating a viable future. Individually, for your teams, or organisation.

‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ - Spiderman, and others.

As the leader, it is your resonsibility to challenge the cycle, to challenge the status qou. Just because it is happening at the moment, does not mean it will continue. It is up to you to recognise what is happening and then to choose to lead.

Reflect on your leadership.

  • How are you leading?
  • How are you being a leader?
  • How are you creating the future?

Ask more of yourself and your leadership. Choose to change the cycle. Choose to create space to lead. Choose to be more strategic. Choose big leadership. Develop big vision, make bold decisions, take brave action and create the future.


I’d love to know your thoughts.

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