How do you prepare to lead in a world that doesn’t yet exist?

That’s one of the biggest challenges faced by future leaders. The world is changing rapidly and will only continue to evolve.

Here are seven ways to lead in a world that doesn’t yet exist:

  1. Accept that this is the new normal. Things will never be as slow as they are now. Change isn’t temporary, so leaders need to adjust their mindsets to accept constant change as the new normal.
  2. Think like a futurist. Instead of picking a single path, futurists consider a variety of possibilities and scenarios that could occur. They think through potential outcomes and factors that could influence the future.
  3. Lead by example. As a leader, you can’t ask someone to do something or behave in a certain way unless you are going to do it first. Showcase the habits, mindsets, and actions you want from your employees.
  4. Be a perpetual learner. You can no longer rely on schools or jobs to teach you everything you need to know. Perpetual learners take control of their personal and professional development and are continually learning new things to stay relevant.
  5. Recognize the past. Change starts by acknowledging and recognizing the past. Respect what came before and where you’ve been instead of trying to take a sledgehammer to everything and forgetting the past.
  6. Think like a laboratory, not like a factory. Factories are process-centric and embrace the status quo. Laboratories experiment and embrace failure. In our rapidly changing world, you can’t just stick with what you’ve always done. You have to find new solutions.
  7. Surround yourself with people who are more talented than you. Leaders shouldn’t be the smartest people in the room. Instead, build a diverse team to teach and challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone.

The world of work is constantly changing, but leaders who prepare now and are continually learning and improving will be ready to lead–even if that world doesn’t yet exist!


Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking and working with some of the world’s top leaders. Here are 15 of the best leadership lessons that I learned from the CEOs of organizations like Netflix, Honeywell, Volvo, Best Buy, The Home Depot, and others. I hope they inspire you and give you things you can try in your work and life. Get the PDF here.