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Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World (BK Business) Hardcover – May 1, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BOB JOHANSEN was president and CEO of the Institute for the Future (IFTF) from 1996 to 2004 and now is on the Institute's Board and Leadership Team. IFTF is the premier research and consulting organization in the world.
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Product Details

  • Series: BK Business
  • Hardcover: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; First Edition edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605090026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605090023
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Kanigan VINE VOICE on March 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bob Johansen is the former President and a current Board member of the Institute for the Future (IFTF) - an independent nonprofit think tank that has produced an annual ten-year forecast for over 40 years. Johansen explains that in a world of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), leaders must learn new skills in order to make a better future including:

1) Maker instinct (leaders approach their leadership with commitment of a job and energy of a passionate hobby)
2) Clarity (leaders being clear about what they are making but flexible about how it gets made)
3) Dilemma Flipping (turning problems that can't be solved into opportunities)
4) Immersive Learning (learning by doing)
5) Bio-empathy (understand, respect and learn from nature)
6) Constructive depolarization (calming tense situations and bringing people from divergent cultures towards constructive engagement)
7) Quiet transparency (ability to be open and authentic about what matters to you without self-promotion)
8) Rapid Prototyping (ability to create early versions of innovations)
9) Smart mob organizing (creating, engaging and nurturing social networks)
10)Commons creating (stimulate, grow and nurture shared assets that can benefit other players)

While the preface and introduction had me looking forward to reading on, I found getting through the book challenging. The author does an effective job in explaining the "what" and the "why" but not the "how." He uses a patch work of lightly connected examples throughout the book...rather than bringing color to the leadership skill, the examples often tended to be a distraction.

Johansen concludes with a solid recap - questions you may ask yourself in evaluating your level of competence for the new leadership skills along with a self-assessment rating system. Unfortunately, getting from the introduction to chapter 10 takes some doing.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was a little different from what I expected. Assuming it just another leader/management type book, I went in with certain expectations. WHat I found was a very interesting and unique book with a lot of what makes a good leader not by bullet points, but more by philosophy. The skills presented are a step forward in seeing ahead, and definitely are a departure from the normal things you see in these types of books. I wonder if many people will accept what the author is trying to say, as this book touches on what is to come, instead of what is in the now. Many people don't or can't see past the present, or if they do, only look ahead a short while. This is a very good book, if you can put aside pre-conceived notions and ideas.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I started reading this book, I thought it will be just like another leadership book with the same skills as available in plenty of other texts, repackaged with new definitions and different examples. However, it turned out to be a really useful book with an apt focus on the leadership skills required for our uncertain and improbable world. (As appropriately mentioned in the title).

Author provides the following three basic assumptions about our world and bases the new skills around them:
1. The VUCA world of volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity will get worse in future.
2. The VUCA world wlll have both danger and opportunity.
3. Leaders must learn new skills in order to make a new future.

In his Introduction, he tells us about the forces of future which will shape the future. There is also a "forecast Map" in the inside flap whic links the new leadership skills with these forces of future. It is a nice visual to learn & understand these new dynamics.

Each chapter then is devoted to these new skills with everyday examples, definitions, and examples from companies. I won't delineate these skills separately, as other reviews here have covered them.

Overall, it is a recommended read.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I received an advanced readers copy of the book Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World by Bob Johansen. I always find it interesting to see how people interpret the future in regards to the skills it will take to lead people. Of course, time will tell as to how accurate Johansen will be, but I did find his VUCA acronym quite useful in describing the future: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.

Contents:
Making The Future Will Require New Leadership Skills; Maker Instinct; Clarity; Dilemma Flipping; Immersive Learning Ability; Bio-empathy; Constructive Depolarizing; Quiet Transparency; Rapid Prototyping; Smart Mob Organizing; Commons Creating; Readying Yourself For The Future; Appendix; Notes; Bibliography; Acknowledgments; Index; About the Author; About IFTF

Overall, there was material for thought here, but it seemed to lack a cohesive thread to tie it all together. In addition, some of the items can not have a known outcome when you make your move. Therefore you can only judge after the fact, and then you add the element of hindsight to make it appear obvious. For instance, "urgent patience" is the ability to judge when to add new challenges and when to counsel steady persistence. Sounds great, but everyone will draw that line differently. Some will fail and some will succeed, even with the same level of (or lack of) information going into the situation. Even the same person might both fail and succeed in various instances. I find it unlikely that it's possible to have an excellent track record on that front given the increasing levels of VUCA in today's world.
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