Maxwell’s Law of Navigation: Be Prepared, Share the Vision

MaxwellJohn C. Maxwell’s 2007 book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, stresses the importance of navigation (Law #4) as part of a leader’s arsenal.

Why navigation, you ask? It’s not really about blindly “following the leader” as much as it is about the leader charting the proper course for his or her followers. Think of it this way: you’re sitting in a boat and suddenly the seas get rough – who do you want as the captain? The skipper of the SS Minnow? The Love Boat? The Titanic? Yikes!

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

His advice? Preparation is the key ingredient. “When you prepare well, you convey confidence and trust to people. Leaders who are good navigators are capable of taking their people just about anywhere.”

Listen to this brief video from Maxwell on the Law of Navigation:

One of the catchier things about Maxwell’s advice is this simple acrostic – PLAN AHEAD – that provides a reminder of the major steps involved in navigational leadership:

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.

I think Maxwell’s Law of Navigation resonates with me because going on a Vested journey with your business partner requires careful navigation. The highly collaborative Vested methodology is very aligned with Maxwell’s PLAN AHEAD.  In fact, one of the first key deliverables a team does is to chart the course of their journey.

As Maxwell notes, the bottom line in leadership “isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others.” Simply put, going on a journey is something you must do together.

Image: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow by John C. Maxwell” by carolynjohnston78 via Flickr

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