CHARTING THE COURSE
Nearly anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. Before leaders take their people on a journey, they become navigators and go through a process in order to give the trip the best chance of being a success:
Navigators Draw on Past Experience: Most natural leaders are activists. They tend to look forward—not backward—make decisions, and move on. But for leaders to become good navigators, they need to take time to reflect and learn from their experiences.
Navigators Examine the Conditions Before Making Commitments: Good navigators count the cost before making commitments for themselves and others. They examine not only measurable factors such as finances, resources, and talent, but also intangibles such as timing, morale, momentum, culture, and so on.
Navigators Listen to What Others Have to Say: No matter how good a leader you are, you yourself will not have all the answers. That’s why top-notch navigators gather information from many sources.
Navigators Make Sure Their Conclusions Represent Both Faith and Fact: 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. On the other hand, you also have to be able to see the facts realistically. If you don’t go in with your eyes wide open, you’re going to get blindsided.
—The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
HAVE YOU TAKEN THE TIME TO CHART THE COURSE FOR THE PEOPLE YOU’RE LEADING?
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lordestablishes his steps.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” Groucho Marx
“Happiness is not what makes us grateful; it is gratefulness that makes us happy.” Marci Shimoff
Daily Leaders Leading Leaders
CHECKLIST BEFORE TAKING NEW TERRITORY
People need to be shown the team’s vision clearly, creatively, and continually. Whenever I endeavor to cast vision with the members of my team, I use the following checklist.
I try to make sure that every vision message possesses . . .
Clarity: brings understanding to the vision
(answers what the people must know and what you want them to do)
Connectedness: brings the past, present, and future together
Purpose: brings direction to the vision
Goals: bring targets to the vision
Honesty: brings integrity to the vision and credibility to the vision-caster
Stories: bring relationships to the vision
Challenge: brings stretching to the vision
Passion: brings fuel to the vision
Modeling: brings accountability to the vision
Strategy: brings process to the vision
The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork
What items on the checklist do you want to improve in your own vision?