Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Law No. 4 - The Law of Navigation - John C. Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership


Leadership Law No. 4 - The Law of Navigation


How many leaders do you know that have dreams and visions and then seem to lack the capacity to lead the team to the destination? As a leader, I can vouch for struggling with the law of navigation.


A dream pops into your mind, and you begin with all guns blazing; you write down some ideas and tell some people about it. You gather the support of the leadership team, and you inspire the team to dream of the impossible and everyone is initially motivated. But what next? Without being able to navigate, or plan the way to the final goal, you end up wandering around in circles, and the team is deflated and as the leader you are worn out.


You can't get Apollo 11 onto the lunar surface in 1969, without some navigation. A dream in itself won't cut the mustard. A fleeting idea of one day reaching the moon won't get you far. You must 'chart the course' as John Maxwell highlights. Visionary leadership is needed. He uses the following acrostic:


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 (1998: 40)


An important part of the law of navigation is the daily reviewing of the plan. You could work out where you are going, set some goals and begin working towards them, but without regular revising of where you're headed, you might find yourself heading in the wrong direction! That's a leadership nightmare! You know the fact that if you begin walking in a 5 degree angle off the main track, within a few kilometres you're lost!


A strong leader must be able to navigate the organisation or team to the end result. Constantly re-check the scope of the goal/project and make the adjustments necessary. Some of the adjustments might be related to finances, personnel, resources, time schedules, etc. Don't start wandering down rabbit warrens. Keep the final aim in view, and adjust the plans accordingly.
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John C. Maxwell's Law of Navigation is law number 4 from his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

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