Get Joey's free weekly beBetter Leadership blog:

beBetter Blog

Critical Skill for an Exponential World

By Joey Havens

Share this post:

This trip has been one where I feel like I was totally unprepared. Thank goodness, CeCe is with me.  

First, we arrived late at the resort and both of us were starving. As soon as we checked in, we went up to the lobby to see about food. We were devastated when we learned all food service ended at 9:30 and the sundries/café store had closed at 9 p.m., too. It’s off to bed hungry tonight and I am already getting a headache. 

CeCe responds, “I knew we were getting in late with some close flight connections so I brought some snacks with me. Let’s get a soft drink and eat a snack bar.” Hunger pains at least subsided for the evening. 

On our last trip together, at lunch, I dropped some food on my shirt. CeCe to the rescue, “I think I have a Tide stain removal pen with me.” Problem resolved! 

And then there was the trip I managed to get a paper cut that would not quit bleeding. I rummaged through my doc kit to no avail. “CeCe, I’ve got to run to the sundries store and get some bandaids.”   

CeCe responds, “I think I have some in my purse.” Bingo, not only one but one for the next day, too. Problem solved, again. 

Back to the current trip, “CeCe, what was the name of the restaurant that Tonya recommended to us? I can’t remember to save my neck.”  

“I think I sent myself a note on the phone just in case we decided to go out for dinner. Let me check.” Bingo, again! 

CeCe has the name and address, we’re ready to roll! 

What is CeCe doing that is so valuable for each of us today? 

Anticipatory thinking! She anticipated some challenges as well as opportunities and prepared us to address each one.  

In an exponential world, being anticipatory, forward-thinking is critical. If we always wait to react, we will miss so many opportunities and be stranded on some problems we could have resolved. This is what critical thinking is all about and we should be having what’s possible discussions regularly with our teams and our clients. Agile is great, anticipatory is better.  

CeCe, I dropped some more food on my shirt…

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic. Sign up today for updates at 

When Will We Trust Again?