Anyone can steer the ship…

… but it takes a Leader to Chart the Course.

John C. Maxwell’s 4th irrefutable law of leadership is The Law of Navigation. Maxwell states:

Leaders are navigators. Before good 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:

  1. Navigators Draw on Past Experience – every past success and failure you’ve experienced can be a valuable source of information and wisdom. Success teaches you what you’re capable of doing and gives you confidence. However, your failures can often teach greater lessons, if you allow them to. If you fail to learn from your mistakes, you’re going to fail again and again.
  2. Navigators Examine the Conditions Before Making Commitments – No good leader plans a course of action without paying attention to current conditions. Good navigators count the cost before making commitments for themselves and others.
  3. Navigators Listen To What Others Have to Say – Navigating leaders get ideas from many sources. They listen to members of their leadership team. They spend time with leaders of other organizations who can mentor them. They always think in terms of relying on a team, not just themselves.
  4. Navigators Make Sure Their Conclusions Represent Both Faith and Fact – A leader has to possess a positive attitude. If you can’t confidently make the trip in your mind, you’re not going to be able to take it in real life. 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. Balancing optimism and realism, faith and fact can be very difficult.

Preparation is the key. If you are well prepared you engender trust in those around you. Great leaders are capable of taking their followers wherever they want to go.

Maxwell used an acronym PLAN AHEAD:

Predetermine a course of action
Lay out your goals
Adjust your priorities
Notify key personnel
Allow time for acceptance
Head into action
Expect problems
Always point to the successes
Daily review your plan

Do you see yourself as a navigator?

How skilful are you at charting the course?

Do you always remember to PLAN AHEAD?

This is the 4th article in a series of 21. Previous articles can be found here:

  1. The Law of the Lid: How effective are you as a leader?
  2. The Law of Influence: The True Measure of Leadership
  3. The Law of Process: Leadership is a Journey of Continuous Improvement

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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@barryrsilver This is amazing @Wallmart2


@shawmu @peterborner Yeah, until it's time to dock. Foolish is the "navigator" who puts just "anyone" in an important role. #leadership


@carge77 @shawmu maybe you should read the article?


@PeterBorner @shawmu I did, Peter. Did I miss the part where you highlight how the "navigator" needs a well-chosen & assigned "crew"?


@PeterBorner Look this user out @walmartmarket


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