As the CEO of your business, it’s important that you choose your North Star. In nautical circles, the North Star was used to navigate the direction of the ship. It informed all of the little decisions that generate a ship’s heading.
If you’re the captain and you start choosing the ship’s direction based on how you feel, or short term discomfort like choppy waters, you’re going to head off course. A slight tack off course could mean never reaching your intended destination.
In business, your North Star consists of two things:
1. The purpose for which your business exists. The clearer and more intrinsically inspiring, the better.
2. Your stated tangible goal that is aligned with the fullest expression of that purpose.
As the CEO, it’s your job to ensure that you are orienting the direction of your business based on your North Star.
That means making tough decisions to invest or cut costs, it means staying disciplined and focused on your core value proposition, it means taking a steady course even when it’s terrifying.
Business get into trouble when it’s leaders start making decisions that are focused on addressing short term fears, quick fixes and trying to meet other people’s expectations.
Choosing your North Star and orienting all of your decisions around it is key to long term, sustainable success.