Looking Ahead

bigstock-Walking-in-snow-22605575The instructions were clear: to walk and make a straight path in a yard covered in snow you have to always look at your target and keep walking…don't stop. I remember hearing this as a child and begin to wait for a snow covered yard to prove the theory wrong.

It snowed…I walked…turning around occasionally to see if the path I was creating was straight. The segments looked straight, but upon reaching the target I realized I had created a line that zig-zagged across the yard.

I head back to the starting point going out of my way to leave enough undisturbed snow so that I can try their way.

Starting with my eyes on the target and keeping my eyes on the target I head out through the snow, never looking back until the destination. Then a look back revealed a straight line.

If you stop along the way and look back, your perspective changes, you are not focused on the target but the course history. There is a place for course corrections along the journey but they need to reference the destination not the initiation.

Here are some leadership principles that can be seen from this simple story:

  1. Decide where you are going. There is no way to lead a team unless you have researched and determined a desired outcome of a project or organization.
  2. Adjust the journey, make course corrections based on where you are and where you are going not on where you have been.
  3. Remember where you have been and let that help you determine your next steps without the history causing you to get off course.
  4. Celebrate the arrival. Once the destination has reached, now look back over the journey and celebrate the accomplishment.

The writer of Proverbs made this point in chapter 4: "Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil."