I recently watched the series on the Eco Challenge Fiji – The World’s Toughest Race. Teams of 4 people from around the world competed in a grueling 11 day, 24 hours per day trek across the islands, oceans, mountains, and other various terrains covering hundreds of miles. From their website (https://ecochallenge.com/) here is an excerpt – The teams must navigate through the backcountry using only a map and compass. Smart phones and GPS devices are strictly prohibited. If a team loses a member along the way, whether due to injury, exhaustion, or disagreement they will be disqualified. Only teams that can work together under extreme stress and fatigue, showing a high level of expedition problem-solving skills will have any chance of success.
I bring this to your awareness not to promote your potential participation in such a challenge but to orient you to the challenges you face as a business leader which calls upon your skills 365 days each year, sometimes 24 hours per day. I also suggest that there are some key take away items you can apply to your future success and best outcomes.
The first is that these are “Teams” of people. This is not about a single person against other individuals. They start as a team and MUST end as a team. Think about how that plays out in your organization. As the marines’ say, no one is left behind. What would that attitude do to bring people closer together for a common cause and result?
Second, they start with a map. A tool to identify where they are at and where they need to arrive at in the future. Does your business have a solid road map of where you are at today and where you are targeting to get to in the future? Does the map identify check points you need to reach in order to verify you are going in the right direction? Do you make adjustments based on new information received along the path?
Third, the one tool they all had access to was a compass. A simple device invented in China between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD, in the times when the Han dynasty ruled. This tool has been providing navigation guidance to travelers based on the pull of the earth’s magnetic fields for centuries. Oddly enough, most people know of what a compass is, but few actually know how or what to use it for in their direction finding. Today we have access to hi-tech GPS which not only calculates best direction to an end location but speaks to us with navigational directions. So the question for you and your business is – do you follow either the compass or GPS to navigate to the best outcomes for your business or are you guessing your way through the forest of challenges?
Although there are many more things I could pull from this Eco Challenge, the last one for this week’s insights is that everyone does not win let alone complete the challenge. On the other hand, everyone who participates in the challenge grows better in one way or another from the challenges. This particular race had a team which was supporting an elderly man who was moving into stages of Alzheimer’s adding additional complexity to the team’s challenges. They knew going in they would be dealing with this and still took on the challenge. In your business you have known challenges and you forge ahead in spite of those roadblocks.
This week you are not climbing a physical mountain in the jungle of Fiji, but the path to progress might be like scaling a large slippery slope. You have decisions to make about the current path you are on. What options does the map to the final destination offer as alternatives? What feedback are you getting from looking at your compass? Is your true north – your core purpose and values giving you guidance on your journey?
As a Promise Guide and Business Strategist, JKL Associates is here to bring our compass and navigation skills to you and your business to assist in your future journey and direction. Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and let’s take on your challenges together.