by GAAA Principal, Dr. Sylvan A. Lashley

For where there is no prophetic vision the people will perish”.  Proverbs 29:18. “And now I see through a glass darkly, but not always” 1 Cor 13:12

Leadership today is fraught with twists and turns; it is written about, debated, researched, pontificated and defined as to what leaders do and who they are.  Today we share four qualities that are common to every leader, coined “the four sights”. These sights work horizontally and in tandem.

The Past
Level 1 Leadership, Hindsight–Level 1 leadership, Hindsight, focuses on the past–we are driven by our history and heritage. Reflections in the past guide what should be done in the present, for history repeats itself. Hindsight gives us context from where God has brought us for God continues to lead.  “We have come this far by faith”, leaning on God, so do a look back to the past. Remember your heritage and history and the context it created.  Israel and Judah frequently how God had led them.

The Present
Level 2—Oversight–Level 2 leadership represents Oversight, of what is occurring now, requiring rules, procedures and policies to guide what the present, and explores the managerial aspects of leadership. This is operational leadership, focusing on inspection, and efficiency and the costs of quality dealing with systems of prevention, and repair. God has laws that He wants to keep. Levels 1 and 2 provide the base for custom and tradition, as we build on stories and history.  We can get busy about concerns of the present. Remember that God is always looking out for you, for He looks after the birds of the air. He is taking to care to manage the present. You are his steward.

Level 3 Leadership, Insight–Levels 1 and 2 leadership ultimately provoke Level 3 Leadership or insight, where a creative analysis of the present wonders how effective we are in ministry, for times may change to require new methodologies.  Insight will lead to effective leadership, to explore new patterns, for we must adopt the most effective goals and strive for efficiency in the same. Mission remains the same, but may now be operationalized differently. God gives you wisdom and knowledge to think about the present and the past and to re-adapt.  This reflection will lead to new thoughts—Insight provides inspiration.

The Future
Level 4 Leadership, Foresight–Levels 1-2-3 leadership ultimately give way to Level 4 Leadership, Foresight, called horizon leadership. Without insight, there is no foresight or vision leadership. Without hindsight, we lose our sense of mission and have no opportunity to put programs in place.
Every leader is called to integrate these four (4) sight to retain a dynamic leadership paradigm. We look for a kingdom whose builder and maker is God (foresight).  Shall we not incorporate a mixed design to arrive at a preferred present?  We work backwards from a future that drives the present, mixed with a historical past of tradition that informs the present. Thus, central oversight (the present) is driven both from the past and from the future. Fueled with creativity, leadership becomes dynamic rather than static, always evolving and developing to accomplish mission through different strategies.  Strategic leadership is the outgrowth–the choice between alternatives based on constant environmental analysis.