I enjoy hiking and camping. Escaping the minute-by-minute barrage of information, the ubiquitous presence of technology, and the overpowering noise of our society gives me real pleasure. I also enjoy the challenge of facing whatever may come your way on the trail – it is just you and the supplies on your back against whatever may come your way.
While the opportunity to face and overcome “the unknown” is often exhilarating, in most cases, success depends on your preparation. Did you bring the moleskin for those “hot spots” on your feet? An extra pair of socks for that unplanned excursion into the creek? Some duct tape to patch that unexpected leak in your tent?
While there are many items that are “must haves” on the trail, I always make sure I have a number of maps of our route and a working compass; even if someone else in the group has volunteered to bring these items.The reason is obvious – without a map and a compass, how do you avoid getting lost?
When experiencing a situation for the first time, I often request “a map” – a guide or overview that tells me what I should expect. What will happen? When? Who is responsible for what? When I am provided this information, I am more creative and productive because I have a framework within which I am operating. I understand how what I am doing “fits in” to the big picture. I’m not worried about getting lost, so I can focus on moving forward.
What do you think? Does your performance improve when a map is provided? How can you apply this concept to your customers, employees and other stakeholders?