Tying the Past to the Present and Future

As you study people’s focus in life, many focus on our history and what has occurred in the past.  These individuals look to the past to make decisions today.  This approach allows us to predict outcomes of our decisions and actions today. 

Others will focus on the present.  They look for current trends and issues that need to be solved.  This approach allows us to be contextual and provide timely solutions as leaders. 

Still others look to the future.  They anticipate what we need to meet future needs successfully.  This approach moves us forward and creates vision. 

All three are critical for strong leadership.  We cannot lose the lessons of the past.  Those historical lessons help us not repeat mistakes that have been costly.  For example, there are those who want to rewrite history and remove all incidents of our country.  We must admit the wrongs of the past or we will continue to experience systemic racism. 

Collectively, we also must pay attention to the needs of the present.  We cannot change the past, but we can make a difference today.  For example, we cannot change the fact that slavery occurred, but we can stand up for justice and speak out when issues arise.  Being an advocate and seeking to create an equitable society are ways we can speak to current events. 

Finally we must look to the future and create a vision of what could be possible.  For example, Martin Luther King Jr.  envisioned a better tomorrow when he said, “I have a dream”.  It wasn’t fulfilled yet, but he was able to envision the future and what it could be. 

Leaders must believe in a better future and provide hope and inspiration to reach out goals. 

Listen to the lessons of the past, address issues of the present, and dream about what could be.   Having a complete view will provide leaders wisdom on how to lead others. 


James Baldwin