WHEN YOU DRIVE DOWN A WINDING ROAD AT NIGHT, you rely on your headlights to see where you are going. If you didn’t have headlights, you would run off the road, and the accident would be especially bad if you carried any significant speed. With low beams on, you can see ahead at least a little ways and can make progress without crashing. As you increase the velocity of your car, you need to see further ahead to anticipate any obstacles in the road since they’ll be coming at you faster. How do you do that? By using your high beams. High beams illuminate the future by a few seconds more than the low beams do, and that makes all the difference. What if your high beams would let you see a mile down the road? You would be able to respond even more quickly and effectively to obstacles. You would feel a lot safer knowing you were not at the mercy of your reflexes (and your car’s brakes and steering). The driver who uses high beams is able to drive faster and more safely than the driver who uses low beams. (And this type of driver is also more likely to leave high beams on when coming down the road facing me so I can be annoyed yet again . . .)
Business leaders run off the road every day because they haven’t turned on their headlights at all. They can’t spot upcoming trends and react to them quickly enough. The business leaders who adopt a high-beam strategy are the ones who are able to see furthest into the future, anticipate what’s ahead, and push their organizations at high speeds. In today’s high-velocity environment, low-beam leadership just won’t cut it. Every organization needs high-beam leadership to beat the competition and thus survive.