What is a Horizon Leader?


Before reading, please study the "horizon" picture. What does this image evoke in you? How does it inspire you? Imagine it’s a metaphor for leadership – what’s the message for you? If you are curious about the story of Horizon Leadership read on.

This is me watching a sunset at Port Franks on Lake Huron. My husband captured this image. It’s one of the best gifts he ever gave me. The business was already named Horizon Leadership, yet this image crystallized what a horizon leader means to me.

Leadership is the ability to see the big picture; to constantly scan the horizon and be aware of conditions around us. It’s also the ability see over the horizon; to anticipate what is coming. Leadership is about being visionary and strategic; seeking and creating clarity. It’s also about being proactive versus reactive.

I am blessed to work with many strategic leaders. And often times I have to remind them to look up and scan the horizon; to step out of the reality of the present and reconnect with the future vision of what they are creating. This requires intention and discipline…and oftentimes support from a trusted mentor or coach.

Leadership also requires us to be grounded and connected to the present. I love that in this image, I’m deeply connected to the physical environment and the magic of what was unfolding in front of me. It’s a metaphor for the deep reflection that is also a core component of leadership. It’s a reminder that leaders need to stop, pause, reflect and re-energize. And too often they don’t.

So, as a leader, how do you keep your eye on the horizon while also staying grounded and connected to the purpose and core of who you are and what you stand for?