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When I joined shipping in 1991, there was no GPS during those days.
I had to learn to navigate the ship using heavenly bodies such as the stars, the sun, the moon & the planets.
We used an instrument called the sextant, which allowed us to measure angles and altitudes, and then we would perform complex manual calculations to arrive at the ship’s position.
With enough practice, one could get the calculated position to be fairly accurate, sometimes within 5 metres off the actual position !
Overtime, many automated position systems developed, starting with SatNav ( Satellite Navigation ) to the current GPS.
Navigating the ship using the stars lost its significance and became a dying art, to say the least :(
Now there are 6000+ stars visible to the naked eye under good conditions, but only 58 stars are bright enough to be used for navigation.
There was a time when I could easily identify all these stars..
Ofcourse, once I quit sailing and with time, I have forgotten some of them but even today, I can identify the main ones on a clear night :)
Anyways, one such star used in navigation is the Pole Star, also known as Polaris or North Star.
Now you must have heard these phrases a lot, especially used by leadership coaches :
“Find your Pole Star” or
“Find your True North”, right ?
But have you ever wondered what it really means ?
I am not sure how many coaches actually know about it...
Why Pole Star and not any other star ?
Let me tell you why :
The Pole Star is a bright star, above the Earth’s North Pole. It shows the geographic True North.
So if you keep following the Pole Star, you will reach the North Pole on the Earth’s surface.
Also, relative to Earth, its position is constant.
It doesn’t appear to move, so seems stationary. It does not appear to rise or set.
So you can also use it as a fixed frame of reference for direction finding.
Even if everything else fails and you don’t have any other navigation aids, you can still find direction using the Pole Star...
And that’s the real meaning of finding your True North as a leader …
..Your core values & your beliefs that drive you
..Your true intention as a leader
..Your true mission
..What is your true purpose ?
..Who do you really want to be ?
And once you find your True North and start aligning towards it, nothing can come in your way. Every action you take, every decision you make helps you move in the right direction.
I have used Pole Star for navigating ships earlier on and now as a leadership coach, I help my clients find their True North.
PS : Whenever you are ready to push yourself outside your comfort zone and create new possibilities in life,
you can book a short exploratory call here ( Book Your Call )
So go back and reflect – Have YOU discovered your True North as yet?