The Laws of Performance

Transforming Situations Through Future-based Language

Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan wrote a remarkable book that has helped people become more successful. The book titled The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life demonstrates the essential skills and technologies of transformative education provided by Landmark Education. The book is divided into three sections which make up the three laws of performance. The third law of performance talks about future-based language which is different from descriptive language.

Also referred to as generative language, future-based language is able to envision and create a new inspiring future that is different from the past hence describing a future as well as transubstantiating how it occurs. Judging from past experiences, a person envisions a future that is comprised of predictions, expectations, success, fears, and hopes. This envisioned future is the person’s default future but not the future the said individual will live.

The envisioned future is just that, a vision. The actual future is shaped by the language that we speak. Through future-based language, historical moments are transformed and become turning points. It is the future-based language of Martin Luther King Jr through his speech “I have a Dream” that transformed the lives of African Americans. What started out as a dream, a vision, was given the power to become a reality through the future-based language in King’s speech.

It is that language that made Martin Luther King Jr a leader who is remembered today after so many years. Leaders aiming to create a particular future should commit to addressing incomplete matters, envisioning a future, determine if the envisioned future is a desirable outcome, and then articulate the future through future-based language.