Strengths Spotlight: Futuristic

mike sandyby Michael Sandy
Director, Office of Study Abroad

Q1: How do you define this theme of talent for yourself?

I see my Futuristic talent as my road map and compass.  I am confident in where I am headed and where I will end up even knowing my long term goals are not always clear and will change by choose and circumstances.

I’ve come to appreciate Alan Lakein’s quote, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it.”

Q2: When this talent is applied, what has this theme enabled you to do in your role at BSU?

This talent helps me recognize the end results of a proposed project and develop a plan to see it through.  In meetings, I am more interested in learning the end game and figuring out how it fits into the larger context.  Knowing this a plan can be developed, potential conflicts and competing priorities can be identified, the right people can be invited to be involved, and required resources can be allocated or petitioned.

I started at BSU in 2014 with the goal of increasing the impact of study abroad across campus with increased programs and student participation.  After meeting with key campus stakeholders, we developed a strategic plan and began working.  In the short-term there have been changes and delays but this can be anticipated working in a larger organization.  As circumstances change, we adapted which aspects of the plan we work on and which aspects we will pursue when the timing is better.

Q3: How is this theme of talent sometimes misunderstood?

Being future focused can been misunderstood that you are less interested or ignoring the immediate circumstances and problems while working on future plans.  This can look dismissive to someone who is more focused on immediate concerns or is more negatively impacted by present conditions.   Knowing I have a higher threshold for ambiguity and turmoil in the short-term when plans are developing, I seek out feedback from others to help keep balance.

Q4: What are ways you have helped this talent to “mature” over the course of your career and experience?

I have learned to seek out and rely on people with complementary talents.  Working with an established staff, it is important to identify our best talents and let others take the lead on aspects of our work and projects where they are naturally inclined to succeed.  I appreciate it when others draw on my talents and I try my best to do the same for others.

I have also learned to leverage my own talents toward my goals.  With tendencies toward connectedness, responsibility, strategic and analytical in addition to futuristic, I have learned to be more comfortable with what I can bring to a situation and when to rely on other people talents.  In my volunteer roles on non-profit boards, I am inclined and more often asked to contribute to strategic planning and policy making while gladly letting others lead fundraising and public engagement events.


About cindykane

Director of @BSUInvolved and interested in leadership and professional development strategies. Mom, scholar-practitioner, looking to make an impact!
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