The busy nature of modern life, combined with an almost constant bombardment of information, has left many people in the 21st century with a consciousness that is extremely noisy and prone to distraction. People rush around as if they are in a storm, panicking and reacting to events and to each other.
Leaders can learn to recognize their own potential to react to situations and seek to be free of clouded judgement. In doing so, they ensure that they remain open and aware of what is happening, leading from a place of stillness.
In our book Wayfinding Leadership, my co-authors and I explore this and other concepts drawing upon the great wayfinding tradition of the Oceanic navigators who, without any instruments such as compasses or maps, were finding their way across 25 million square kilometres of ocean long before European ships had entered the Pacific.
For centuries, people have navigated using the rising and setting of stars and the patterns of waves on the oceans and sands. These wayfinders have observed the natural world, worked out their location and destination, set a course to get there, and then responded to signs along the way. Today’s wayfinders are the living face of a philosophy of being that has been orally transmitted from one generation to the next through millennia.
Wayfinders go beyond the known. Theirs is a human story of going on journeys of discovery to new horizons. The principles of wayfinding have developed through action and practice in deep intimacy with an ever-changing world. It is as much about the journey as it is about reaching the destination.
To acquire the wise perspective of a wayfinding leader, including mental resilience, courage, and resolve, is to operate from a relaxed state in all circumstances — whether in the midst of a raging storm or caught up in the unpredictable and dangerous winds of the doldrums. Master wayfinders have the ability to move from stillness; they possess a steadfast calm clarity.
The moving (or leading) from stillness resonates deeply with participants who attend our workshops and keynotes here in New Zealand and internationally. People worldwide are deeply exhausted by pushing through the storms of life.
When the Going Gets Tough Read the full blog