Reaching Your Super North Star
Posted on the 31 March 2017
One of the youngest soldiers ever to be selected for the SAS parachuted in to the North East to share his experience of working at an elite level and leading under extreme pressure.
Now a celebrated business author, company owner and director, Floyd Woodrow has walked many different paths and spoke passionately with Entrepreneurs’ Forum members about how being elite isn’t only about being the best in the world - even if you are.
To be elite is simply being the best person that you can be; and to perform at your peak you need to have a great team around you.
Floyd’s belief is that great people lead their teams through emotion, filling them with self-belief and creating an environment in which they can all thrive together.
His leadership ‘compass’ is a tool that can help everyone to stop wasting precious time and start transforming your dreams into reality:
The first step on your journey is to build a road map that leads to your ‘Super North Star’. Having a clear vision, path and purpose for your next three to five years, both professionally and personally, will mean you can tell everyone why and how you’re going to achieve what you want to.
It takes focus, great communication skills, the ability to trust those around you and a lot of hard work to follow your dreams, but even the hardest working people won’t succeed if they don’t know where they are going.
Once you know the direction, you need a plan of travel. This is the South of Floyd’s compass and your strategy; which needs to be flexible, solve problems and have contingencies, review resources and mark milestones to guide you toward your Super North Star.
The most important thing is to set regular time aside to think and discuss your plan, coming back to it regularly to make sure you’re still moving in the right direction.
To bring people with you on your journey, Floyd spoke of the need to gain their trust and respect. What you stand for and your personal characteristics are crucial to this, and in some of the team’s Floyd has led and been part of, there’s nothing more important.
Your eastern goal is to develop a code of ethics that everyone in your business works within. A code where people respect each other, take responsibility, support each other, hold colleagues to account, but aren’t afraid to make mistakes.
The ideal environment is one where people are willing to disagree or challenge one another without fear, in a bid to make the plan better. Once agreed however, everyone must then get on board the bus and be accountable for their part of the plan.
When you have a Super North Star, a solid strategy and a team that’s bringing out the best in each other, it’s time to focus on your own performance; you’re inner Warrior.
Floyd’s western point was to steer clear of ‘perfect syndrome’ and worrying about what people think. Focus on being the best you can be by visualising what success looks like and training yourself to become mentally resilient.
You need to ensure you take action and are decisive as a leader, but also not be afraid to fail, as you’ll do it lost of times on your way to your goals. As long as you’re learning, that’s OK, because no one is perfect.
In an inspiring talk, Floyd’s underlying message was that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, develop your skills and make positive change. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.
Your dreams may be huge and scary, and throughout your life your Super North Star will change many times, but that’s OK, as the real success is the person you become along the way, not the destination itself.
If you can balance your own compass - strong strategy, good ethics and enough warrior to get things done - then you’ll be heading in the right direction; and even on a bad day this will make you hard to beat!