“Become a navigator in the lives of others. You will be able to use your influence to help them move up to the next level in their lives, and if you assist them during their darkest hours, you will make friends of them for life." ~ John Maxwell
Definition of a Navigator
"One who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do.” ~ Leroy Eims
Scripture on Navigating for Others
Romans 15:1-2 (NLT) ~ “We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.”
John 15:13 (NLT) ~ “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
A Navigator Identifies the Destination
Three crucial things to discover about people in your life:
- What do they cry about? What touches their heart? What are they passionate and compassionate about?
- What do they sing about? What are they enthusiastic about? What gives them joy?
- What do they dream about? What keeps them up at night? Who do they dream of becoming?
A Navigator Plots the Course
“When you consider people’s passions, potential, and vision, you are better able to see where they really want to go because you view them with more depth and discernment.”
“A good rule of thumb is to set your goals in concrete and write your plans in sand.”
As you are helping people navigate, give attention to these areas:
1. Where They Need to Go
“Some people storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties that do not exist.” ~ E.W. Howe
2. What They Need to Know
“A good navigator recognizes the blind spots in others, gently indentifies them, and helps people overcome them.”
3. How They Need to Grow
“When you are navigating for others, remember that they can’t make the whole trip in a day. They have to grow into their goals and take things one step at a time.”
A Navigator Thinks Ahead
Four things you should help others understand as they get under way:
1. Everybody Faces Problems
Here is Barna Research Group’s study results on the issues people felt were most pressing in their lives:
2. Successful People Face More Problems Than Unsuccessful People
“The bad news is that the higher people go – personally and professionally – the more complicated life gets. Schedules get tighter, money issues increase, and greater demands are put on successful people. But the good news is that if they continue to grow and develop themselves, their ability to deal with problems will also increase.”
3. Money Doesn’t Solve Problems
“Another faulty belief is that money solves problems. The opposite is actually true – people with money tend to be less content and have additional problems.”
“Financial problems are usually a symptom of other personal problems.”
4. Problems Provide an Opportunity for Growth
“All people react in one of four ways under difficult circumstances:
- Retreat into the past.
- Daydream about the future.
- Retreat within and wait for someone to rescue them.
- Face the crisis and transform it into something useful.” ~ Arnold Toynbee
A Navigator Makes Course Corrections
“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it’s the same problem you had last year.” ~ John Foster Dulles
1. Teach Them Not to Listen to Doubting Critics
“Help the people within your influence to ignore the critics and keep their eyes on the big picture. Show them that they best way to silence critics is to solve the problem and move on.”
2. Coach Them Not to Be Overwhelmed by Challenges
“Management expert Ken Blanchard recommends a four-step problem solving process that includes:
- Thinking about the problem in order to make it specific.
- Forming theories for solving it.
- Forecasting the consequences of carrying out the theories.
- Choosing which method to use based on the big picture.”
“Time, thought, and a positive attitude can solve just about anything.”
3. Encourage Them to Seek Simple Solutions
“Help others to realize when they need to make course adjustments, find simple solutions that they think will work, and then execute them without delay.”
4. Instill Confidence in Them
“The size of the person and the quality of their attitude are more important than they size of any problem they may face. If your people remain confident, they will be able to overcome any obstacle.”
A Navigator Stays with the People
“A good navigator takes the trip with the people he is guiding. He doesn’t give directions and then walk away. He travels alongside his people as a friend.”
My 3 Takeaways from this chapter on “Navigating for Other People”:
1. There are opportunities for us to help navigate in our relationships with our friends, children, spouses, and those that we work alongside with.
2. Helping others requires patience, vision, and a lot of encouragement, authenticity, and hope.
3. Great reminder that money does not solve all of our problems. The fact is it creates more. We need to be more focused on how we am going to navigate the problems we are currently in, and be willing to seek help from those who might be capable of helping us through the process.