Leadership Key #2_Setting Trail Markers

Are you feeling overwhelmed?  Wondering how to lead your team or your family?

As a leader at this epic time in human history, you have a tremendous opportunity.  I don't believe in good or bad luck.  You serendipitously crafted your world to be exactly where you are.

Whether you are navigating your business or your family through this turbulent time, the world needs you and your talent NOW!

From 30 years of consulting to Global 1000 executives through their most strategic initiatives, I extracted four keys to leadership in turbulent times. 

This is Patrick Mosher's Leadership 101 training.

I gave you Leadership Key #1 in a previous post:  Envisioning Rally Points.

Are you ready for Leadership Key #2?

Leadership Key #2.  Set Trail Markers

The second key to Transformation Leadership is what I call Trail Markers.  A wise leader creates helpful trail markers to get from Point A to Point B, achieving that goal or Rally Point (Leadership Key #1).

Imagine I take you to a beautiful national park.  Here in the U.S., let's say we go to Yellowstone. 

Imagine yourself at the entrance of the first trail.  Your heart leaps with the possibilities of the beauty you'll experience today.  I put you first in line with our other team members behind you.  "Okay.  You're in the lead!  Now step …. Here."  I point to the ground one step in front of you.  "Okay, now step here."  Another step.  "Okay, now step here."  We spend the entire day going through Yellowstone this way.  You would kill me!  This is called micromanaging.  When I give you too many trail markers you experienced Yellowstone by looking at your feet and hearing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 

And even worse, we created a dependence between us … driving you and me crazy!

Going to the other end of the continuum, let's say I put trail markers 22 miles apart.  Now you go into the park and see the first Trail Marker.  Woo HOO!  Great!  And then you wander off.  The people behind you go all over the place.  You can't find the next Trail Marker.  You are frustrated, tired, alone … and lost in the wilderness. 

Haven't you experienced leaders who don't give adequate direction?  You wander and wonder, what was THAT about?  

Setting Trail Markers just the right distance apart is a leadership craft.  Trail Markers provide direction and boost confidence.  Placing the trail markers far enough apart creates a sense of discovery and co-creation.  When you lead well, your team has a uniquely deep and personalized experience.  They feel like they discovered Yellowstone!  They are exhilarated by being almost lost and yet confident they'll reach the Rally Point!

Trail Markers set adequately apart engage people every Monday morning because they are excited to create. 

Have you set your team's trail markers at an appropriate distance?  Have you customized them for the individual needs of each team member? 

In extremely turbulent times as we face today, people need MORE trail markers.  They desperately seek confidence and guidance. 

In the movie, The Martian, Matt Damon's character is a Botanist/Astronaut stranded on Mars.  Every day he faces life-threatening problems.  At the end of the movie he says, "You solve one problem and then the next.  If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.  Just Begin." 

Bring your team home!  How? 


In most turbulent of times, maybe you help your team focus on One Next Step.  Encourage them to get through today.  As a leader, provide those Trail Markers.  Adequately distanced. 

Wise Leaders LEAD by Setting Trail Markers!


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