Hillel the Elder famously said “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
If not now, when?
As true now as it was then.
Pathfinding isn’t about busyness but it is about urgency.
Pathfinding isn’t just about activity, but it is about focus.
Pathfinding isn’t just about process, but it is about results.
Pathfinding is about doing the right things, right now, for the right results.
A colleague and mentor Peter Cook is an expert in implementation and a seriously inspiring example of discipline, focus and getting things done. Peter combines laser focus and incredible discipline with such grace and embrace of others that each time I sit with him I learn from the exchange, as well as the conversation. One of Peter’s superpowers is the ability to distil your story down to the one single “To Be Continued” page and identify a handful of specific actions that need to be done to make the most progress in the best allocation of time. I am productively challenged and professionally inspired by him and find myself leveraging off his implementation focus to push myself into the next level of action.
Action creates outcomes. Ideation comes first but action makes them a reality. For any leader to enjoy optimal results they have to act in a way that is both consistent with and contributing to, the desired destination. In this 45 second video, I outline the importance of Pathfinding, where you smarten down your focus to the handful of things that must get done right now. It’s a strategic, intentional way of clarifying and doing the next best thing.
Pathfinding is about only doing what only you can do (Attribution: Andy Stanley) Knowing your best and most important contribution and doing it, fast. Pathfinding knows that it must stare down the two things that stand in the way of effective action.
- Beliefs that sabotage: We sometimes choose to believe things about ourselves, our circumstances and our value that stops us from courageously delivering our best.
- Habits that paralyse: We can find ourselves in patterns of behaviour that are unhelpful and unresourceful and that prevent us from making our contribution public or bravely.
Pathfinding doesn’t suggest that these challenges don’t exist, it acknowledges that they do exist and looks for a way forward in the midst of that reality.
To succeed at pathfinding you need to:
- Be clear about what success looks like.
- Be courageous enough to say no.
- Commit to finish, not just start.
Leaders who implement do the following five things on a consistent basis to help you make “measurable progress in reasonable time.” (Attribution: Jim Rohn).
- Make a Decision – Choose what TO do and what NOT to do right now.
- Create a List – Focus in order of priority what needs to be done by when.
- Get a Mentor – Invite an external force to guide, champion and challenge your journey.
- Act then Evaluate – My wife calls this ‘reflection in action.’ Consider what is happening and improve.
- Act more wisely – Use learning from the reflections to make improvements to work and focus.
May you find your way on the way. That’s true Pathfinding.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.