The law of navigation: Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. No matter how much you learn from the past, it will never tell you all you need to know for the present. Balancing optimism and realism, intuition and planning, faith and fact can be very difficult. But that’s what it takes to be effective as a navigating leader. If the leader can’t navigate the people through rough waters, he is liable to sink the ship. Major barriers to successful planning are fear of change, ignorance, uncertainty about the future, and lack of imagination.
A successful leader will do their best to eradicate certain weakness within themselves such as the fear of change or mitigate the fear of uncertainly by formulating a reasonable plan under which to push forward. A leader cannot however, eradicate their own lack of imagination or ignorance. It may be mitigated by surrounding yourself with those people who’s attributes you might leverage, but pity the person who is ignorant and does not possess an imagination.
It is true that the events that occurred in the past do not teach us everything we need to know for the future. I think that it is important to collect evidence of actions and corresponding reactions that have occurred. Knowledge of the past is very much like a tool chest where, at your disposal, are an endless combination of solutions to a current problem. If you could not draw upon the tools you already possess, solving future problems becomes exponentially more difficult.
I’ve mentioned many times my personal career progression plan. The same mechanism that makes one work may be equally valuable in planning life’s journey. You should have an idea of what sort of person you want to become down the road. You should establish some important goals to strive for, to reach for, to commit to. As that road winds through life, so should your plan and expectations bend and flow also. Engage your mentors, supporters, most valuable resources in the process because we are social creatures, dependent on our ecosystem, our community. Be patient but not complacent in life. Engage life with determination. Gold nuggets do not fall from the sky and nothing is preordained. We make our opportunities in this life. Accept the fact that adversity, obstacles, and challenges will be everywhere. Some you may be perceptive enough to avoid, but many will challenge you fully. Remember your successes and accomplishments. They will give you resolution and encouragement. Refresh your life plan or your career plan frequently. This will help you stay focused and navigating a more direct path to your goal or whatever is defined as Point B for you.
A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do. – Leroy Eims