Everyday you share the road with a very scary person. I like to call this person "GPS Guy." Oh, you've seen them. They are the people who have a GPS system mounted on the front window of their car, right in the middle of the window!
I'm not a hater of GPS systems, because I've been in situations where they were incredibly helpful. But on the flip side, I've also had nightmare experiences with a GPS. The problem with a GPS is that it always wants to take you the shortest route to your destination, regardless of how treacherous or painful that route might be. For example, recently a GPS system sent my team and I on a winding backroad that went up and down hills like a roller coaster. For awhile. In a Ford Excursion. At night! Almost everyone was ill by the time we reached our destination, and if I had followed my gut when I heard, "Turn right on highway FF in 500 ft," and connected to a major highway just 10 minutes further instead, we would have all been better off.
What scares me about "GPS Guy" is that they are so focused on the directions they are given that they lose sight of everyone else on the road and those in the car with them! As leaders we have to be very careful about simply looking for someone above us to give us directions. Since I'm a Kansas City guy, let's use Garmin for instance. You're behind the wheel and your team is in your vehicle. Everyone wants to get to the same destination; you, your team, and Garmin wants you to get there. But is Garmin actually in the car? They can see you on the map they designed after you report your location, but they can't see the condition of the road or the condition of your team in the vehicle. I know, you've paid Garmin, so you feel like you need to listen, but what is God telling you? Leaders have to understand that the "Garmins" in your life just want you to arrive quickly because it compliments their product.
I want to ask you, is your leadership dependent upon the "Garmin" in your life giving you directions at every turn? You've got to realize that that's not leading, it's following. Your team in the vehicle with you is trusting you behind the wheel. You can't afford to see them as victims of "Garmin," they are volunteers! They need you to drive, not "Garmin"! You see the road! You see the condition of the people in the vehicle! For the sake of everyone in the vehicle, including yourself, DRIVE for the love of everything holy!
We also need to make sure that we aren't being the "Garmin" in someone else's life. Just because I know how to get back to my house from this Starbucks I'm sitting in, doesn't mean the same directions would work from any other Starbucks location. If you are going to help people lead, you have to go sit in THEIR car and drive through THEIR neighborhood and stop talking about your car, your streets, and where you turned. I graduated from college 10 years ago and the road that I drove into campus doesn't even exist anymore. If I told a current student how to get to campus I would crash them into the history department. I'm sure the college would fold soon after.