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How frequently do you look into the future for threats and opportunities?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 170,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How frequently do you look into the future for threats and opportunities?

  • Very frequently: 34.34%
  • Frequently: 44.32%
  • Sometimes: 16.94%
  • Rarely: 3.94%

Looking over the horizon. Clearly, the majority of you are doing the key job of a leader: setting a vision and picking a destination by looking at what the future holds. Failure to do so leads the organization to wander aimlessly and run into trouble no one predicted. If you’re not confident in your predicting skills, there are techniques you can use to get better at it. The larger challenge I’ll put to you, because you’re already looking to the future, is to ask yourself how well you’re predicting it; more importantly, are you making the correct near-term choices given your assessment of the longer-term environment? Revisit the accuracy of your decisions occasionally. If you’re not as accurate as you think, understand the reason and adjust your fortune-telling techniques accordingly.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”