4. The Law of Navigation

The Law of Navigation: Anyone Can Steer the Ship, but it Takes a Leader to Chart the Course

I can’t believe it’s already been almost a week and half since my last post! Sheesh! This is what I was discussing this morning on my spiritual blog. Sometimes we get off track, but as long as we have a solid foundation, we’ll eventually make it back to the trail. Whew! And we’re back! This goes right along with today’s law as well! If you charted a good course, you can get back on your route even if the wind blows you off course.

Today’s law begins with the story of two Antarctic exploration teams. One team made it to the South Pole because the leader had not only prepared diligently and far in advance, but he also took the time to equip his team with the best and most effective equipment. The other team’s members all died after making it to the South Pole because they were low on food and supplies the entire time, had to kill their horses, and had a leader who put more work on them throughout the trip.

Leaders who navigate do even more than control the direction in which they and their people travel. They see the whole trip in their minds before they leave the dock. They have vision for getting to their destination, they understand what it will take to get there, they know who they’ll need on the team to be successful, and they recognize obstacles long before they appear on the horizon. p. 38

The larger the organization, the more clearly the leader has to be able to see ahead. That’s true because sheer size makes mid-course corrections more difficult. And if there are errors in navigation, many more people are affected than when a leader is traveling alone or with only a few people. p. 38

Every past success and failure you’ve experienced can be a valuable source of information and wisdom- if you allow it to be. Success teaches you what you’re capable of doing and give you confidence. However, your failures often teach greater lessons. They reveal wrong assumptions, character flaws, errors in judgment, and poor working methods. Ironically, many people hate their failures so much that they quickly cover them up instead of analyzing them and learning from them. p. 39

Navigators examine the conditions before making commitments. p. 40

No matter how good of a leader you are, you yourself will not have all the answers. That’s why top-notch navigators gather information from many sources…Navigating leaders get ideas from many sources. They listen to members of their leadership team. They talk to the people in their organization to find out what’s happening on the grassroots level. And they spend time with leaders from outside the organization who can mentor them. They always think in terms of relying on a team, not just themselves. p. 41

If you can’t confidently make the trip in your mind, you’re not going to be able to take it in real life. p. 41


  • Predetermine a course of action
  • Lay out your goals.
  • Adjust your priorities.
  • Notify key personnel.
  • Allow time for acceptance.
  • Head into action.
  • Expect problems.
  • Always point to the successes.
  • Daily review your plan.

The secret to the Law of Navigation is preparation.

This was an awesome way to get back in the swing of things. My chess mentoring organization has taken a new and exciting turn and I see an immediate opportunity to apply the Law of Navigation.

  1. I would say that I do indeed reflect on positive and negative experiences through my daily blogging, prayer, and conversations with trusted friends. I will definitely be sure to include reflection time during major projects and will continue my personal planned and spontaneous times of reflection.
  2. For my current initiatives, my next step is to contact local experts who may have more information about current chess programs and then I can identify opportunities for improvement. After that, I’ll be able to update my action plan.
  3. I would say that I’m pretty balanced on facts and faith. However, as of late, I’ve been more focused on the big picture and forming the vision and I haven’t quite addressed some of the realistic challenges. However, when I’m co-leading or am a part of a team, I’m usually the person assessing the facts so that we can move towards the vision. Overall, I’d say I’m pretty balanced.

Although today has been a slow start, I managed to abide by the Law of Process by focusing on winning daily battles. I created a Daily Checklist to simply help me remember some of the tasks that I want to complete each day and week. I feel satisfied whenever I’m able to check things off a list and it allows me to easily identify areas that I have neglected- like shopping for groceries. I think I’ll do that after my nap! Cheers!


About Ernest Levert Jr.

Aspiring Servant-Leader studying engineering principles, financial stewardship, business management, and psychology fundamentals in order to cultivate passionate leadership, disseminate positive energy, uplift the community and ultimately create a brighter future for generations to come.
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