People are drawn to leaders who can paint a picture of a future that they want to participate in, a future that will be good for all members of a team or company. Followers see people who focus on the short term, who are only concerned about the current quarter, not as leaders but as people tied to the status quo. Farsighted leaders, on the other hand, provide a sense of purpose and see possibilities that others overlook. Henry Ford, for example, saw a future where the automobile was the main mode of transportation when others could not imagine cars being much more than an interesting oddity.
In envisioning the future, a farsighted leader does not ignore reality but aspires to something attainable. An appropriate vision should have a realistic time frame, and leaders should be able to explain what success will entail and talk confidently about what can be accomplished. Leaders must be able to speak about their visions in a compelling manner to indicate they are team projects and that everyone must contribute in order for them to succeed.
Another key behavior of farsighted leaders is the ability to see past obstacles. Leaders cannot ignore problems or become overwhelmed by them; instead, they need to devise ways to move beyond them.