Without a North Star, all action is equal, and anything goes.
But none of us believe that. And we certainly don’t act like it. Because we know we have a North Star, even if we don’t always know exactly what it is.
What does this have to do with leadership? or driving excellent organizational outcomes? or with the Human O.S. of Culture? Short Answer: Everything.
A North Star is not a mere value. It is the value valued above all values. It is the non-negotiable, the uncompromisable, the unforgettable.
Without a North Star, your organization:
Doesn’t know what it’s doing
Doesn’t know why it’s doing it
Doesn’t know why this is bad
With a North Star, your organization:
Knows where to aim
Knows what to do
Knows why it matters
One could argue that the primary role of a leader is to identify and convey a compelling North Star. If your people are clear on a North Star, they are clear on (almost) everything else. Everything comes to a focal point. And it aligns their efforts. It guides them on all of their work, including their micro-actions, micro-routines, and micro-behaviors – without requiring micro-management.
What is your organization’s North Star?
How does your organization measure up against it?
How can you close that gap?
[Bonus Link: “In real life, there is tension, competition, unhappy customers, mishaps. And identifying that North Star isn’t always easy. Not everything is necessarily friendly, not everything is nice, regulators need to be satisfied, etc. To thrive, first one must survive, and that is about balancing all kinds of things that are in conflict. Hard decisions must be made, sometimes a few eggs need to be broken.”]