Chapter 2. Personal Foresight - Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Adaptive Self-Leadership – The Eight Skills and Ten Values

This Guide argues that Eight Skills, practiced daily, are key to being a great performer. But skills alone are not enough for leadership. We must have good values as well.

Recall that in Strengths-Based Leadership, Gallup offers us four core leadership skill domains, the first of which, Strategic Thinking, is a seeing (foresight) domain, and the next three of which are doing domains: execution, influence, and relating.

We expand Gallup’s Strategic Thinking domain into the Four Foresight Skills: the first is a learning step (knowing the relevant past and present), which is foresight preparation, then Toffler and Amara’s Three Ps, the core types of foresight production.

We then integrated Gallup’s three doing skills with the universal Do loop (Learn See Do Review cycle), described by Shewhart, Deming, Simon, Boyd, and other management scholars. That gives us the Four Action Skills: Execution, Influencing, Relating, and Reviewing.

These are the Eight Skills of Adaptive Foresight. It is our contention that any fewer skills takes away something critical, ignoring the key management literature, and any more is unnecessary. These are the key skills we need to practice in our daily lives, and help others to practice as well.

Toffler’s 3 Core Foresight Types Gallup’s 4 Core Leadership Domains Toffler + Gallup Eight Skills

Anticipation (Probable Futures)

Innovation (Possible Futures)

Strategy-Planning (Preferable Futures)



Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking



















Skills of course are not value free. Leaders must also have vision, and they pursue goals, which are expressions of values. In an evolutionary and developmental universe, a subset of our goals and values will be particularly adaptive. What might those be?

As we describe in Chapter 11, in our leading systems, the universe appears to be continually seeking to pursue both evolutionary and developmental goals, as follows:

Evolutionary Values: Freedom, Creativity, InsightDiversity, Empathy.

Developmental Values: Order, TruthPower, Security, Ethics.

These Ten Values represent each of the Five Goals, in groups of evo devo pairs, as follows:

Ten Values of Social Systems – An Evo Devo Model

Here are the five evo devo pairs, with a bit more of the qualities of each:

  1. More Empathy (love, compassion, understanding, connectedness).
  2. More Ethics (morality, fairness, synergy, positive-sumness, interdependence).
  3. More Insight (dematerializationvirtualization, modeling, consciousness, intelligence).
  4. More Power (densification, wealth, speed, STEM compression (exponential production efficiency & density).
  5. More Diversity (information, individuation, specialization, difference, independence).
  6. More Security (awareness, protection, safety, risk management, immunity).
  7. More Freedom (bottom-upness, indeterminacy, options, uncertainty).
  8. More Order (top-downness, structure, regulation, constraint).
  9. More Creativity (unpredictability, novelty, imagination, fiction, experiment, innovation).
  10. More Truth (predictability, optimization, accuracy, inertia, sustainability).

Leaders who learn about, measure, and use foresight to steer their teams and themselves toward these values, and who consciously balance them against each other, are going to be better leaders.

Pursuing these skills and values for ourselves can be called Adaptive Self-Leadership, and pursuing them on our teams is Adaptive Leadership, which we discuss further in Chapter 5. As we’ll see shortly, we can arrange these ten values into three values sets, in a Three Ps model (see picture at right) which allows us to perceive three main ways our minds work to lead ourselves toward the future.

This is not a final evo devo-derived leadership model. But it’s good enough for us to begin to use and critique. Remember that these skills, values, and values sets are often in tension or competition with each other. We can’t practice, improve, or maximize all of them at the same time. So getting right balance among our skills and values, moment by moment is a matter of art and practice. But having the right models helps us pay attention to what matters in both the vision (goals, values) and work (skills) domains.

This Guide argues that empowerment (evo devo) foresight, the Five Goals, Ten Values, and Eight Skills, are the best complexity-based models we have today for knowing where to go (values, goals) and how to get there (skills). If you use any of these models, as I do in my own life, I believe they will clarify much, and take you very far. 

Again, we’ll say a bit more about Adaptive Leadership in Chapter 7, but we’ll leave a longer treatment of leadership for a later version of the Guide. In the meantime, lead thyself well and far, fellow foresighter!

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Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice