Trail Marker Leadership

I like to hike. I enjoy the sense of adventure, the opportunity to be outdoors, and the challenge that comes with pushing yourself. On every trail there are a series of trail markers. These can be posts, small signs, or a shape painted on a tree. All trail markers serve the same purpose: they inspire you to keep going, mark the path, and point you toward your destination. Great leaders do the same three things which are vital in the complex world that General Stanley McChrystal described in the 100th episode of The Leadership Lab.

We designed this week’s tool and video to inspire you to think about yourself as a Trail Marker Leader. As you watch the video and read the tool consider how well you exhibit three Trail Marker behaviors:

  1. Do you inspire people to keep going when times get tough through your example and willingness to support them?
  2. Do you guide them on their journey with sound advice and modeling?
  3. Do you cast a vision and point your people toward success?


trail marker leadership


Stan is right. The world is complex. It needs great leaders to help people to step up and tackle the challenges we face. Be the leader that people need. Be the leader that you are meant to be.