Ever been lost in the open ocean? In 2016, my friends and I were island hopping for 10 days in the Florida Everglades. On our last night, we found ourselves 22 miles from the mainland where our van was waiting for us. We knew we had a small window of opportunity to launch our kayaks from the island we were staying on at high tide. High tide happened to be at 4am.
We would have been totally hopeless if it weren’t for earlier that night. As part of our Outdoor Leadership training, we had been given a map and a compass to find our way home. That night a few of us gathered to orientate our map with our compass. We determined that if we simply maintained a forward direction of exactly 240 degrees southwest for 22 miles, we would make it home. We strapped the compass to my kayak and took a nap before launching at 4am.
It was pitch black on the water, except there was a light attached to the back of my kayak for my 6 friends to follow behind. We kept a tight pod so we didn’t lose anyone, occasionally sounding off our assigned numbers to make sure we were all together.
When all you have is a glimmer of light, keeping a tight pod is critical.
Without a compass, we would have inevitably gone in circles or worse gone further out to sea without realizing it.
There’s been so many moments in my life where I’ve had to realign my position. In leadership, the tides change often; every day feels like unfamiliar waters. And you’re not just leading yourself, you have others following your glimmer of light.
When the tides change and you’re in unfamiliar waters, do you have a compass that keeps you steady & sure, knowing exactly where to paddle and when?
Or do you frantically paddle in circles hoping that you’ll find land… just any land.
Taking a few minutes of your time to orientate your compass might just save your life, or your business.
The mission of your business is your compass. It defines the exact direction you’re going. Not only will it get you through the tough days, you will become a glimmer of light for the people in your pod.