In Hacking Leadership, author Myatt wrote, ‘Great leaders don’t move towards the future, they bring the future to them – they pull the future forward. In TomorrowToday we talk a great deal about the need for leaders to be ‘futurefit’ and as important as this is, it remains only half the story.
TomorrowlandIn the Disney movie, Tomorrowland with George Clooney in the lead role, the storyline had to do with saving the world from itself. From a future perspective the ultimate destruction of the planet seemed unavoidable until a way was found to reverse the future; to save the planet. Although easy to merely consign to the realm of science fiction, the movie packed a powerful message. It was a message that we get to write the future script. It was a challenge to the attitude that adopts a resigned acceptance that nothing can be done to avoid the inevitable; that our small actions in the here and now don’t make a difference. It is to poke a finger in the eye of the beast that threatens to destroy the planet and with that, for us to self-destruct.. It is a movie in which hope wins.
Our collective future is in our hands. What we choose to do today will shape tomorrow and we see this ‘law of the universe’ play out at multiple levels. Understanding this ought to serve as a far bigger, a far stronger motivation to examine our everyday actions and not accept that we are powerless to stop the systematic destruction of our future.
It is in this quest that leaders play a critical role. Leaders, by very definition are those who influence and with this influence come great responsibility. Leaders have become immune to the unrelenting barrage of data, projections and statistics that paint a very clear picture of a sick patient; of a world that simply cannot survive the neglect, greed, shortsightedness and ignorance of it’s greatest tenant. There has to be both a conversion of mind and heart within leaders if they are to galvanise their constituencies, their followers to act in a way that allows hope in the future to flourish. There has been a start with ‘Benefit Corporations’ ( that are emerging and modelling a different set of behaviours to that of the standard ‘for profit’ motive and drive. Importantly these ‘new’ companies are adopting different metrics and measure of success and in doing so are shifting the goalposts for others.
So how does one go about saving tomorrow?
In Tomorrowland the strategy was to identify the ‘dreamers’ and allow them to dream; to enable them to collaborate in ways that allowed their dreams to become reality. It is not a bad strategy for us in the present. For leaders to identify the dreamers and then give them the space and permission to dream whilst protecting those dreams from the bureaucrats, the politicians, the naysayers and those only in it for themselves. To ‘see’ what could be out future is to dream and we need more people within our organisation to be ‘looking out the window’.
Abraham Lincoln said that, “The best way to predict the future is to create it. Leaders need to play their part in freeing the dreamers and perhaps a good place to start would be to watch Tomorrowland. For much of the movie you might wonder exactly what you have got yourself into and I can see dissenting mutters about wasting time and ‘what has this got to do with us’ but if you persevere, it might spark a conversation that could transform the way you see the future and your role in it. Surely that is worth the risk?
As a leader you have a responsibility towards the future. We all do, but yours is that much greater given the resources at your disposal and the stage that you command. All we need is for you to really ‘see it’ and then let your vision and determine, the same vision and determination that got you to where you current are, to kick-in and shape tomorrow.
As a leader you need to be a broker of hope for tomorrowland. Others look to you to see how to engage with the challenges we currently face. Others look to you to start the connection to our shared future and if you do something, they will follow. Others look to your understanding of what needs to be done and your agility in helping us get ‘there’ is essential. Yes, you have a big responsibility. What are you doing about it?
If this sounds like some sort of motivation drumroll it is because it is. I watched Tomorrowland and I think we can rescript the future. I think leaders have a big responsibility in this task but not if your head is in the sand (or elsewhere) and when you ‘see it’ so will those around you. They have been many who have been bearers of the message for some time. It is time you (we) thought about joining them and I suspect we will discover we are not alone in the quest.
Go on, watch Tomorrowland. I dare you.
Note: Featured image taken from Google Images and is from the film, Tomorrowland

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