It’s Guest Post Monday! This post is written by Kari Scare who is a freelance writer. Her passions include reading books, magazines and blogs, pursuing a healthy lifestyle through exercise and diet, spending time with your two boys and her husband, and of course, writing. While these passions play a large part in defining who she is, they are guided and directed by her faith in Christ. She writes at Struggle to Victory where her focus lies with showing that victory of any size requires some amount of struggle. If you would like to have a post featured on my site then click here.
Remember the days of having to print a map from the internet before going on a trip? The days before GPS? If you really want to date yourself, admit to using a booklet atlas to find your way.
Sometimes, the map failed to successfully get me to my destination. Sometimes, I failed to follow the map successfully and got frustrated and lost.
Even with GPS, destinations have a way of being elusive. Construction blocks the route. Roads change as buildings go up. No satellite connection flashes on the screen. One time, my destination was an abandoned building with the hotel in a new location not yet known to my GPS.
A leader exists somewhat like a map or GPS, guiding followers to an intended destination. As such, following maps and GPS helps me understand leading as well as following.
1. Leaders make mistakes. When a leader fails morally, ethically or legally, a trip may need temporarily cancelled until restoration takes place. And sometimes, a leader just makes a wrong decision. That’s when you simply reroute and try again.
2. Followers need to follow. As long as a leader leads morally, ethically and legally, my job involves following the leader’s directions. Not doing so leads to disunity and discord. When I let my pride get in the way, I don’t follow well and get lost. Focusing on serving in humility drastically improves my ability to follow.
3. Blocked paths lead to frustration. Construction and blocked roads usually equal frustration. Frustration can lead to giving up or discovering an alternate route. A good leader allows emotions like frustration to guide toward new solutions rather than lead to discouragement.
4. Every once in a while, the destination disappears. Ever follow the map perfectly only to have the destination not exist? When the intended destination is no longer an option (lost sale, denied grant, etc.), a leader must creating a new plan and move on.
5. Rerouting sometimes happens multiple times. Shortly after receiving my first GPS, I had the opportunity to hit the reroute button multiple times in one business trip because of prolific construction in downtown Lansing, Michigan. Eventually, my GPS led me home. A leader must do the same when the unexpected becomes the expected.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Eragorn becomes frustrated when he believes his two friends, Merry and Pippen, are dead. He expresses his frustration, which leads him to finding clues telling him they are in fact alive and where they are located. While this happens, his followers (Gimli and Legolas) stand by waiting direction as if they know Eragorn’s frustration will lead them forward.
This scene emphasizes the lessons of GPS leadership. Plans change, dead ends come up, a leader makes mistakes, frustration leads to solutions, and followers sometimes feel lost. Yet, simply moving forward brings unexpected paths and new opportunities. In other words, refuse to give up even when the path appears blocked, the destination changes or frustration takes over. And be a good follower, because sometimes that’s exactly what a leader needs to keep moving forward.
Question: What other correlations do you see between using GPS and leading or following?