If you learned to drive before Mapquest, likely you used an Atlas to find your way around on longer trips. Today, you might wonder why anyone would have interest in an Atlas, but consider a new project being undertaking to create the first Atlas of Scotland in over 100 years. What will the purpose be? Atlas’ show us more than just directions, they also highlight the country’s geology, national and regional history, culture, international connections, natural resources, local populations, and so much more. The Atlas serves the purpose of helping us to get to know a portion of the world more than just the directions of how to get there.
As leaders we sometimes lead our people as if we are a Mapquest – we give directions and expect our people to follow. If they don’t we redirect and again expect them to follow. What if we led more like an Atlas? What would be different? We would spend time really getting to know our people. We would discover what they enjoy, where are their strengths, what makes them happy, what is life like outside of work, what were their experiences growing up, etc. As great leaders, let’s strive to be more like an Atlas in our leadership style.