What does it mean to have effective leadership?

Is it the existence of impressive results, highly recognized success, or maybe widespread respect? Dr. Jonathan Lotson has dedicated his professional life to better help answer and attack that question for leaders everywhere. Dr. Lotson is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and has received his Master of Divinity from the C.H. Mason Seminary. While realizing leadership development as a calling, Dr. Lotson became a certified life coach while at the same time completing his doctorate in Strategic Leadership with a concentration in Ecclesial Leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Through all these studies, along with numerous mentorships and leadership consulting, he has been privileged to work with leaders from a diverse area of expertise. 

One of Dr. Jonathan Lotson’s primary goals is to develop effective leadership in others, tailored to their own unique talents and situation. In doing this, Dr. Lotson has established certain elements of leadership that are worthy areas of pursuit for all leaders focused on enhancing their leadership capabilities. These understandings allow participating leaders to understand a foundational principle and how it affects impactful, before personalization comes into place. Dr. Lotson discusses many of these principles in length with real world and scriptural reference in his book Effective Leadership: Top 10 Areas Every Christian Leader Should Consider When Moving Towards Effective Leadership.

One important area all effective leaders should tackle in one way or another is Strategic Foresight and Direction. In his previously mentioned book, Dr. Jonathan Lotson defines strategic foresight as the ability to create and maintain a high-quality, coherent, and functional forward view. Tactfully mapping out your decisions as a leader seems like a no brainer, but strategic foresight in this regard is a specific, focused effort in mapping out the future so that it informs your decisions in the present.

To better understand the future, one must analyze both the past and present. Some of this process resembles risk aversion tactics in how mistakes are evaluated to inform preventive measures in the future. But much of this process is also understanding every element of a current situation so that you can not only avoid past mistakes, but anticipate new ones that may have been unrecognizable otherwise. 

Dr. Lotson identifies this process of understanding future situations as being “future smart.” A large component of being future smart is contemplating and readying for a wide variety of future outcomes. Oftentimes, leaders make an effort to be future focused, but isolate themselves to a singular “good” and “bad” outcome that exists in their common reality. However, effective foresight involves preparing for numerous outcomes both expected and unexpected. And even when subjugating foresight into those two categories, there are numerous variations on both.

Understanding foresight as not only a tool for leaders, but a regular practice necessary for success, can be crucial in cultivating effective leadership. With a more practical focus on strategic foresight and direction, leaders can begin to craft a future that is both tangible and favorable for their leadership practices and the organization they represent.
Dr. Jonathan Lotson believes even with these important areas of focus, an effort of personalization should be pursued to best benefit the potential leader’s environment and talents. Strategic foresight and direction are only one element of the ten Dr. Lotson outlines in his book Effective Leadership. For more information on how to practically implement strategic foresight in your leadership practices as well as a wealth of other leadership fundamentals, you can purchase Dr. Lotson’s book both physically and digitally on Amazon. You can also check out his website at https://www.jonathanlotson.com.