My friend and fellow Free Agent Academy Professor Justin Lukasavige offered an intriguing post last week that I just can’t get out of my head. Is it more important to have a compass or a map? As the FAA Professor for the Roadmap Group, I just couldn’t resist a hearty response. The comments on Justin’s post have been flying, and here’s my thoughts:
Bottom Line Up Front: You need both!
A compass is great for giving you an orientation to a fixed point. A physical compass always points north, which means you can always chart a course in any direction (east, west, south, etc.). In life and business, to me a compass represents your belief system and the principles you live your life by. My compass tells allows me to look at a situation or opportunity and decide it if fits who I am and who I want to be. It makes the decision to go forward or go back easier.
But a map…I love a good map! Not only can it show you where you’re at, but where you’ve been and where you could be. It shows you what’s over the hill and around the bend. The wisdom of those who’ve been there before drip off the edges of the map. Maps allow you to plot a course to where you want to be…helping you to see the biggest obstacles and sites before you get there.
Even more powerful is when you make your own map (read Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin if you really want to understand the power in this concept). By plotting your journey–past, present and future–you create what only you can create. It’s personal and it’s experiential. It’s yours, and you own every wrong turn and successful breakthrough.
So if all you have is a compass, pick a direction and go forth! Just be sure to make your roadmap as you go. It makes everything more powerful!