Navigational Leadership – what is it?

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One of the most common verbalised fears to me as a mentor and entrepreneurial trainer by business owners – is making the wrong decision. Being exposed to so much information, technological advances and many business opportunities can turn the most decisive of us into feeling uncertain about the “right” way forward. Many of us have been taught that effective leadership requires us to be certain and decisive. Let me assure you that effective leadership in today’s environment does not. Effective leadership in today’s environment is far more about learning to navigate an environment of change.

These are the traits of navigational leaders:

  • They keep moving – In my own experiences I have often not known exactly where I am headed and if I am on the right path – but I usually know fairly quickly if something feels wrong. If you cannot be sure of the right way, stick to moving away from the what you know is wrong until things become more clear. Thought Leadership teaches that “momentum precedes clarity” and this is most often the case in business leadership. Move away from what feels wrong – and keep moving until you know more and it will often come together further down the track.
  • They make space for failure. For themselves and for those they lead. Many of us were schooled to avoid failure and we struggle to get out of this mindset but it’s a crucial change for effective leadership. We can learn so much more if we allow those around us to fail forwards or upwards. Whilst many of us can manage this with others, we are very hard on ourselves when we fail, we need to lighten up to learn vital things through the failure process
  • They keep their headspace clear – it’s a simple battleground analogy of staying out of the trenches to see where the danger lies and it’s a critical positioning for creative and navigational leadership. In order to do this, we must empower those around us to make their own decisions, make their own mistakes and solve their fair share of challenges
  • They embrace new technology. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by “what I don’t know” when the digital entrepreneur is such a buzzword and new technology is being introduced daily to our functioning environment. The best advice I have seen, from a relevant and savvy business writer in digital marketing is – go with the flow and see what works. In other words – don’t become overwhelmed by trying to take it all in at once but don’t ignore how new technology might well be able to assist you either.

Through my own learning, I have come across the following sites and apps (just google the names below) that make things so much easier for smaller businesses to compete digitally with the bigger businesses when doing their own promotions.

This is what they can help you with;

Pexels – free images for use in business marketing. Images are especially important for catching the eyes you want to target in social media

Hootsuite – I am all for measuring results “out” from efforts “in”– this is the best guide for making good decisions – HootSuite does this very well for social media marketing

Grammarly – if you are writing for your business or posting on social media this site checks your grammar and spelling

Canva – really helpful for Facebook ad campaigns as well as any other presentation designing with its amazing variety of templates

You might have noticed that my EnQ article has not been published for the past two months – this is because I am doing a lot of writing in the areas of academic leadership and corporate leadership too. I have therefore had to cut my business owner/leadership articles down to once a quarter to retain their value and insight. I hope that you still find my thoughts helpful and that you stay with me – lion territory can be lonely for us business owners and I value and appreciate your connection.