Where do you wanna go? The Law of Navigation

“Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.” – John Maxwell

Leaders plan the route to the desired destination, which is much more than simply controlling the direction of travel. Navigation incorporates vision, strategy, planning, and execution. The vision represents the mental model or picture of the desired end-state. The strategy provides the approach and the plan captures the considerations of all aspects potentially affecting the attainment of the goal. Those leaders that follow the law of navigation see more than, see farther than, and see before others do.

Leaders that navigate draw on information from a variety of resources.  Leaders consider past successes that build confidence for tackling a new venture. Leaders consider their own past failures and the failures of others. Leaders tend to look forward, forgetting the past. Great leaders learn from the past and the lessons that those experiences provide and apply them to future endeavors.

Leaders that navigate consider the current conditions before embarking on the path. What is the cost in terms of finances, time, and resources? What is the level of commitment to this action? Does the culture support this endeavor? Does the action carry any momentum? Is this the right time for this action?

Leaders that navigate solicit and consider the input and counsel of other people. One person rarely has all the answers to every question or issue that arises when tackling a major initiative.  Leaders that navigate balance their optimism, intuition, and faith with the realism, planning, and fact surrounding any major initiative.

The leader is the one who sees farthest into the future, making him the best person to guide his followers.  Great Leaders plan ahead, because they know that proper planning prevents poor performance (PPPPP).

  • P: Predetermine a course of action.
  • L: Lay out your goals.
  • A: Adjust your priorities.
  • N: Notify key personnel.
  • A: Allow time for acceptance.
  • H: Head into action.
  • E: Expect problems.
  • A: Always point to the successes.
  • D: Daily review your plan.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. – Ben Franklin

“Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” – Unknown but an adopted Pancakeism

Even Jesus himself in The Gospel of Luke (The Bible) speaks about planning, navigating, thinking it through before starting.  “If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and figure out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job.  If you don’t, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will make fun of you. ‘You began to build but can’t finish the job!’ they will say.” Luke 14:28-30

The secret of this law is preparation. When you’ve over-prepared, you convey confidence and trust in people, lack of preparation has the opposite effect.

H5H Action Step:

  • This week, build time in your schedule to plan. Take 20 minutes at the beginning of your day and write out what you wish to accomplish.  Take 10 minutes at the end of your day to reflect and begin game planning for tomorrow.  Try this for one week.  You may find the Law of Navigation useful.

Lead The Way!