Patti Johnson, Future Strong Hero, tells us how
Patti Johnson, Future Strong Hero
CEO, PeopleResults, a change and organizational development firm
Author, Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life
Future Strong Hero Series: Insights from top leaders, change
makers and thought leaders who are creating better, bolder
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How do you stay Future Strong? I’m a believer in possibilities. There are
two parts to that. First: You need to be able to see those possibilities, which
means being open to something different and believing in opportunities, even
when they might not be immediately apparent. Then second: Do something
with those opportunities. You can start small — the first small step might
turn out to be something really big! Just get started.
There’s not one path to being successful. Be yourself and it will work out.
Early in my career, at Anderson and Accenture, there were a lot more men
on the path that I wanted to be on than women. And initially, I felt like
I had to be something that I wasn’t. Over time, I realized: Not so much.
I needed to be more of who I was. The more you show up as who you really
are, the greater your chances of success. I didn’t have one big epiphany
— it was just over time realizing that it doesn’t pay to try to be
somebody that you’re not.
What do leaders need to do to build Future Strong companies?
You’ve got to be willing to change your mind. That’s something that’s
really hard for many leaders — they’ve been successful by having all
the answers. That style of leadership is very counter to a climate of
disruption. Being willing to reconsider one’s point of view is very
important in today’s environment.
All leaders need to be both short-term focused and long-term focused.
There are no easy steps into the longer-term. The ability to anticipate
and see where the shifts are going to happen is very important. And that’s
hard because most business plans are data-driven, but there’s no data
from the future. There’s only ambiguity and uncertainty. You have to
combine today’s data and with insights and leadership vision.
• Start small: Just get started!
• There is no one path — keep experimenting until you find yours
• Ensure that your vision drives long-term actions and success