Follow Your True North

Episode 11: The Sage Power of Navigate


Think about a typical day for you. How many of your decisions and actions are driven by what really matters to you? What would change for your happiness, relationships, and career if more if you spent more time acting from your true north?



Here we discuss the Positive Intelligence concept of the Sage strength of navigate and how it helps align your decision making with your bigger vision and values. It helps you to remember what’s most important. Think of it as taking the 30,000-foot view or to stepping back to see the forest instead of just the trees. It shows you the big picture which helps pull you out of the minutia and the crisis of the moment. We all have times of existential crisis in our lives and businesses. Taking the time to really focus on what’s important and why is so helpful in those cases.


Here’s a personal example from Wendy

When I turned 50, I was restless and felt like I was off course. In a moment of inspiration, I pulled out a journal and wrote a vision of myself at 65. I wrote about what I want for my career, my finances, my home, my relationships, and my physical health. The ideas flowed so easily as I captured my vision for how I want to spend my time and how I want to be in the world. It was incredibly energizing. Now whenever I need to make a big decision, or even when I just need to check in with my true north, I read back over those pages. It’s rewarding to celebrate where I’ve made progress toward my vision, and it helps me to get re-energized in areas where I’m not gaining as much traction as I would like.


Here’s an example from Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble’s true north is branding and the consumer experience. In the mid-1990s they developed many new variations of existing products like Crest or Tide, and each version would have its own unique package colors. They eventually realized that this variety diluted the brands and made it harder for shoppers to quickly find them on the shelves. They decided to make the packaging more consistent for each product line. Now when you walk into a store, all the different varieties of Crest or Tide share design elements that help them dominate the space and make them easy to find. This reinforces the consumers’ confidence in their purchases and improves their shopping experience.


Here’s how to use navigate power for daily decision making

I think most people are familiar with Steve Covey’s Seven Habits of Effective People and the four-quadrant grid that helps you set priorities based on how important and urgent things are. This tool supports those day-to-day course corrections by helping us pay attention to what’s really important and focusing our energy there, rather than getting sucked into what feels most urgent in the moment. It’s a simple way of bringing the power of navigate into daily life.


How to access the power of navigate

As with any sage power, navigate is most accessible when our saboteurs are quiet. If we’re hijacked and stuck in any negative emotion for more than a few seconds, we need to recognize and intercept that saboteur. Then do some self-command exercises by focusing on a single physical sensation. As thoughts arise, gently let them go and refocus on the physical sensation. Once you are feeling more at peace, then step back from the situation to see the big picture. Ask yourself “a year or two from now, what will be important about this?” If that timeline feels too close, consider what would be important 5, 10, or 20 years from now.


We recognize that we’re making this sound easy. In reality, we all know that when life is really challenging, it can be hard to shift our perspective. That’s why it helps to work with a coach that is trained in Positive Intelligence. It’s why we’ve been talking about the importance of mental fitness training. The truth is, the more we practice quieting our saboteurs, doing self-command exercises and using the sage powers, the easier it becomes to do this when the going gets tough.


That’s why Wendy and I offer coaching and Positive Intelligence mental fitness training programs. These training programs provide 6 to 8 weeks of intense mental fitness practice. You’ll spend just 15 to 30 minutes a day spread over the course of the whole day, so it’s not a huge time commitment. It’s the regularity of the practice that develops these muscles, so they are available to you during ever more challenging situations.


We’ve seen great results with our clients and in ourselves. We’ve also seen how going through this program with co-workers, family members or friends creates a shared experience and a common language. The members of each small group provide each other with encouragement and accountability. The program is very effective for building camaraderie and can help to shift the culture of an organization to be more supportive, effective and innovative.


I’d love to explore with you how to bring these concepts into your life or your organization. You can reach me at lisa@LisaBrewerCoaching.com.


I hope that with the navigate power, you find the clarity to know what’s really important and the strength to act on that vision.