One of the hardest things about being a leader is not knowing how to navigate the challenges that creep up on you with each passing day. Between the decisions that are placed on your shoulders, the relationships you are expected to balance and the vision you must uphold, you have a lot on your plate. Navigating as a leader can often feel like traveling without directions. It’s easy to lose your way or even give up altogether. Imagine what it would be like if we had a map to help guide the way. Imagine if we approached leadership like a GPS.
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Maps are Lifesavers
Maps are lifesavers and come in handy when you need direction. In today’s world we have these amazing tools at our fingertips in the form of GPS systems that can direct you anywhere you want to go in the world. Although they do fail from time to time, they provide the guidance we need when we have lost our way. As leaders, we have the opportunity to guide those who don’t know where to turn, or who need a little direction, by leading them like a GPS each day.
5 Ways to Lead Like a GPS
- A GPS offers turn by turn directions to help you get to your destination. It is essential for those you lead to know where they are going in order to succeed. Within any group there will be different personality types, conflicts, and issues that arise. It is your job as a leader to be able to give clear direction no matter what difficulty may come your way. By providing individualized ‘turn by turn’ directions to those you lead, you will be sending the message that you have a clear vision, your focus is on the big picture, and you are someone they can trust to lead them well.
- A GPS provides live updates to help us avoid issues looming up ahead. Having the wisdom and insight to look beyond the moment and predict the roadblocks that may get in the way is something that is crucial for any leader. By being able to recognize the warning signs early and take immediate action when things begin to falter, you can alleviate issues before they become larger problems. Take the time to truly pay attention in every situation so that you can use your influence to provide the wisdom needed to stop an issue before it begins.
- A GPS gives you constant feedback on your progress. Feedback it absolutely necessary for both improvement and morale. However, before you offer advice to others, you must first understand where you are in relation to where you want to go. The key is to understand your own experiences so you can use your insight to help others improve. Offering wise feedback will allow those you lead to rise to heights they never thought they could, and in turn will teach you lessons you never thought you needed to learn.
- A GPS will recalculate if you make a wrong turn. No matter how prepared you may be, either you or someone you lead will end up making a wrong turn from time to time. A great leader will give guidance instead of ridicule and will admit when they are mistaken. Just as a GPS will gently steer you along a new path anytime you miss a turn, you should approach leadership in the same way. The best leaders are those who can admit their mistakes, help guide those they lead and recalculate the wrong turns in order to move forward.
- A GPS is made even better when used with the essential accessories. There are really three major accessories that are considered to be ‘must haves’ when it comes to owning a GPS. The case is needed to keep it safe, the charger fills the battery, and the mount is what holds it in place.
As leaders our ‘case’ consists of those who mentor us and guide us as we navigate through life. They protect us when we fall and they carry us each step of our journey as we continually learn to improve. Our ‘charger’ is our inner circle, those we hold dear and trust without fail. They give us the energy we need in our darkest hour and they refuel our passion with their support and advice. Finally, our ‘mount’ are those that follow. They are the backbone of all we stand for and they are the ones who hold us in place even when times get tough.
I challenge you to “Lead Like a GPS” and offer guidance, provide wisdom, give feedback, admit mistakes, and appreciate those who are the reason you are who you are today.