There’s No GPS for Leadership
There are few things I enjoy more than offshore fishing. I love the exhilaration I feel as I watch the shore fade into the distance. I begin to dream about what monster fish might find its way onto the end of my line.
For me, this kind of fishing doesn’t begin until I am 50 miles offshore. I lived in Florida for 10 years, and for most of that time owned a boat capable of making this kind of trip. Two questions I used to hear often from those unfamiliar with offshore fishing were, “How do you know where the fish are going to be, and how do you know you are in the right spot once you get there?”
For me the answer to both questions was as easy as three little letters: GPS. My modern electronics could guide me with precision to the perfect spot every time.
Unfortunately, when it comes to leadership, we don’t have a GPS equivalent. We don’t get to plug in a destination, or a desired outcome, and then sit back while the autopilot does all of the work.
We are, in fact, much more like the early sailors who had nothing but crudely drawn maps, a compass, and the stars by night to guide their way. When I consider what these early navigators were up against, it amazes me how successfully they were able to keep to their course. How did they do it? The answer is simple: with constant vigilance and by making regular course adjustments to keep the destination on the horizon.
LEARN FROM THOSE WHO WENT BEFORE YOU
Most leaders could learn a lot from those who sailed the open ocean in generations past. Good leadership also requires constant vigilance, regular course adjustment, and an eye on the destination ahead. You probably don’t have to think long to identify a leader you know who has experienced significant moral failure after having drifted off course.
I bet you know leaders who seem to be wandering aimlessly with no destination in mind.
Maybe you are that leader.
DEFINE YOUR VALUES
It is crucial to have clearly defined values, or a way of describing what is most important to you. Good leaders will often take time to write down their values. Why? Because each identified value acts as a pinprick of light in the proverbial night sky.
These values, then, become the stars that guide our way and keep us aligned with the destination set before us. Violating or neglecting what we value moves us off course, leading to all kinds of trouble.
Do you know what’s most important to you? If not, take some time today to identify at least three values that will help you stay on course. Each value you identify should be weighed against the Word of God and prayed over.
It is possible to get off track by identifying values that conflict with what God wants for us, so never assume that because it’s important to you, it is actually ultimately important.
I believe as you identify those values that align with God’s hopes and desires for you, you will be blessed. Stay vigilant, make regular course adjustments, and always keep the destination on the horizon!