The present reality is a strong pull on leaders. When a leader wants to rise above the day and look to the future, the urgent can quickly pull a leader back to focusing on today. The problems and challenges of today threaten to stop leaders from looking to the future, and from learning from the past. When leaders want to work on the organization/ministry, there is plenty to work in.
If you only look at the present, you are not leading well. Here are three dangers:
You fail to learn
The past is a great teacher. Because there is nothing new under the sun, we learn a lot by looking at history. For this reason, Harvard Business School has utilized the case study approach to teaching and learning. The thinking is that students will learn from both successes and failures by thinking deeply about past challenges and opportunities. You have a plethora of case studies in the area you lead. If you only live in the present, you fail to look at these and learn from them.
You fail to think strategically
If you only operate in the present, you are focusing almost exclusively on management and execution. You are solving the problems of today without thinking strategically about the future. Leadership is ultimately about the future.
You fail to develop others
If you only live in the present, you fail to see potential in future leaders and you fail to plan their development. If you only live in today, you manage team members for today and disregard how they are being formed for the future.
While today is important, leaders owe it to those they lead to look also to the past and the future.