Having a dream of where you want to be is not enough. You need to be able to lead yourself and a great team to that desired destination. The question is how do you get there?
NAVIGATING is a skill that every leader can learn to develop. Imagine going round in circles because you neither have the tools you need nor the capacity to get others on board with you. It can be quite exhausting.
The fourth LAW by John Maxwell says leaders who navigate do more than control the direction in which they and their people travel. They have a vision for their destination, they understand what it takes to get there, they know who they will need on the team to be successful and they recognise obstacles long before they appear on the horizon.
Followers need leaders able to effectively navigate for them. When they are facing life and death situations, the necessity is painfully obvious. But even when consequences aren’t as serious, the need is just as great.
The truth is that nearly anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. That is THE LAW OF NAVIGATION.
Leroy Eims, author of “Be the Leader You are Meant to Be, writes, “A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do”.
NAVIGATORS SEE THE TRIP AHEAD
The larger the organisation, the more clearly the leader has to be able to see ahead. That’s true because sheer size makes midcourse corrections more difficult. And if there are errors, many more people are affected than when you’re traveling alone or with only a few people.
WHERE THE LEADER GOES…
First rate navigators always have in mind that people are depending on them and their ability to chart a good course. Before leaders take their people on a journey, they go through a process in order to give the trip the best chance of being a success.
NAVIGATORS DRAW ON PAST EXPERIENCES
Every past success and failure can be a source of information and wisdom – if you allow it to be. Successs teach you about yourself and what you are capable of doing with your particular gifts and talents. Failures show what kinds of wrong assumptions you’ve made and where your methods are flawed. If you fail to learn from your mistakes, you are going to fail again and again. That’s’ why effective navigators start with experiences, but they don’t end there.
NAVIGATORS LISTEN TO WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY
No matter how much you learn from the past, it will never tell you all you need to know for the present. That’s why top-notch navigators gather information from many sources. And they spend time with leaders from outside the organization who can mentor them.
NAVIGATORS EXAMINE THE CONDITIONS BEFORE MAKING COMMITMENTS
Good navigators count the cost before making commitments for themselves and others.
NAVIGATORS MAKE SURE THEIR CONCLUSIONS REPRESENT BOTH FAITH AND FACTS
Being able to navigate for others requires a leader to possess a positive attitude. You’ve got to have faith that you can take your people all the way. If you cannot confidently make the trip in your mind, you’re not going to be able to take it in real life. Sometimes it is difficult balancing optimism and realism, intuition ad planning, faith and fact. But that’s what it takes to be effective as a navigating leader.
“The secret of navigation is preparation. When you prepare well, you convey confidence and trust to people. Lack of preparation has the opposite effect. It’s not the size of the project that determines its acceptance, support and success. It the size of the leader. Leaders who are good navigators are capable of taking their people just about anywhere”.