Where Are You Going? 3 Keys To Spot-On NavigationPosted: October 3, 2012
I was a Boy Scout. I learned how to use a map and compass to find my way in the wilderness. Growing up, I was always my dad’s “navigator.” I would read to him the directions we had gotten from AAA, and we mostly found the way, but I don’t know how much of that can be attributed to my skill or his memory because I think he studied the map the night before we left. Regardless, I learned a great appreciation for maps, what we can learn from them, and how useful they can be. When we know where we are going.
We were traveling as our little family last week, visiting my wife’s college roommate. I was navigating for my wife, and I entered the address from her phone into the maps app. We drove over 10 hours that day, so by the time we were close, we were all ready to get out of the car. Her roommate had texted us the day before to tell us that the GPS coordinates sometimes mess people up, so to call when we got to her street.
I’m glad she did, because we called her when we were on the right street, and she asked a couple times where we were.
I ended up talking to her, and she asked, “Are you going to our old address, maybe?”
“113th street, right?”
“Yep, that’s the old one, we don’t live there anymore.”
“So here’s our new address, you’re not that far away, just another 10 minutes or so.”
In the meantime, my wife speaks up and says, “I have her new address already, I would have recognized it if you would have told me.”
“Ok, sorry. Here’s to great communication.”
We arrived later than we hoped, but we did arrive finally. It was a great learning experience.
Can you imagine, what if we hadn’t called, and showed up on the doorstep, with all of our kids and bags at a stranger’s house? That would have been awesome. An even better learning experience, I’m sure.
I can think of three principles I can pull from this experience:
1. Even if you have a GPS/iPhone, or map and compass, if you don’t know the correct destination, you will never get to where you want to go.
2. If you do know where you want to go, and you have it all in your head, but don’t communicate it, your team will continue on to the old destination, or where they were headed the last time they received direction from you.
3. Lastly, your team should communicate with you as the leader, informing you where they are heading, checking in with you, to make sure they are on the right track.
Do you know where you are driving? Have you ever gotten lost in your organization?