A Leader’s North Star

In days gone by, mariners made their way through seas and vast oceans using a system called celestial navigation. This astronavigation involved using “sights” between the visible horizon and a celestial body such as the sun, moon, or one of 57 stars. The most popular of those stars was Polaris, commonly referred to as the North Star. Polaris has proven to be particularly reliable since it is always within one degree of the celestial North Pole and can even be seen just below the equator thanks to refraction.

Like those adventurers of old (and not-so-old, since celestial navigating is still taught today in addition to satellite navigation), utilizing a North Star system is essential for today’s exceptional leaders. What do we mean by this?

  1. Exceptional leaders adhere to a set of core values that guide them, day-in and day-out.
  2. Even in the best of times, leaders stop to consider where their North Star principles are pointing them before making any final decisions.
  3. When challenging circumstances arise or things get off course, leaders who’ve developed a North Star navigational system know where to start getting things back on track.

Over the years, many outstanding leaders have shared with us that their core values and principles were formulated around family, faith, life experience, and/or positive role-models in their lives. No matter how you describe your individual North Star system, you must define it! This is not only necessary for your success, but it is also critical for the success of everyone you are leading in your personal and professional life.

Leaders have been through some dark days and tough times during the past few years. We’re sure you will agree with us that our individual North Stars have been indispensable in steering us safely through these challenging seasons. No doubt other difficult situations will appear on the horizon in the days, weeks, and months ahead—so, let’s keep our sights on our guiding principles and be sure we are passing these navigational skill sets on to the next generation.

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