No leader is immune to the shifting circumstances and events that can challenge or stymie their professional or organizational progress. Advance warning of these oncoming storms, together with adequate preparation, can mean the difference between disaster and success.


It's a leader's nature to seek out and journey to new places. In order to reach these new places, a few things are required. We must:

* Develop a clear vision of our destination

* Disengage with activities and people not headed in that direction

* Connect with others who are already at your desired destination

Having a clear vision is a necessity. Once your destination is clear, you're more inclined to find the resources that can take you where you want to go. For instance, if your vision is growing a business that develops web sites that offer safe on-line shopping, that goal drives your thinking and your activities. You won't allow yourself to be sidetracked by seminars for video-game developers or industry associations for shoe salesmen. I'm finding that more and more leaders are getting clearer about their destinations. They're defining where they want to go and investing the resources that will take them there. Unfortunately, a clear vision is not the only requirement for reaching your destination. Some leaders know that they want to go west, for example, but they're still lingering at the eastern seaboard. Occasionally, they gaze at the westbound train that's headed toward the frontier that they're dreaming about. No amount of wishing, dreaming and visioning is ever going to get them where they want to go.



Reaching our destination requires that we disengage from the place we're at and the people we're with before we can catch the train headed in the right direction. How important is disengaging? For Intel, disengaging is probably what maintained the company's profitability and possibly their existence in the extremely competitive chip market. In the early 1980s, most of Intel's top executives didn't see the need to change a thing. At the time, Intel was probably the leading provider of memory chips and was making about $1 billion a year. Andy Grove, who was president of Intel, and CEO Gordon Moore, knew the industry was about to undergo drastic changes. Japanese firms were starting to make the same chips available so cheaply that they would soon become commodities. By 1984, Intel's profits fell below $2 million.



Don't think that disengaging is easy. In his book, Only the Paranoid Survive, Grove says that he knew that Intel had to exit that market but had trouble even getting the words out of his mouth. Over time, he was able to take the necessary, painful action of disengaging from a market that Intel had virtually created so they could move forward. Disengaging was painful all around for Intel. It meant layoffs for thousands of employees and the company's first loss since their startup days.



Was it worth it? Let's answer one question with another one: Does the slogan, Intel Inside mean anything to you? Disengaging from the memory chip market is what enabled Intel to focus on the microprocessor and led to them being selected as the chip that powered IBM new personal computer. The rest as they say is history. But the first step in getting there was disengaging. You cannot remain static if you want to be moving. You have to become part of something that is moving and associate with people who are moving. If your church, company or organization is going somewhere, you'll find that people will want to be connected with you so that they can go somewhere too. In addition to connecting yourself to people and organizations that are moving, it's important to identify, connect and seek help from people who are already at your destination. Talking with people who are where you want to go helps you to develop a much clearer vision of your destination.

(Taken in part from: What's Shakin' Your Ladder by Dr. Sam Chand)

If you enjoyed this article you should strongly consider the following book "What's Shakin' Your Ladder?" as it expounds fully on this area of Leadership.

Dr. Sam Chand website