You Go Where You Look


Go Where You Look

Years ago I took a motorcycle safety class.  It was a three day course and had students ranging from beginner to seasoned riders.  I was a beginner.

Motorcycle on a Turn

Clearly not me... but notice he is looking where he wants to go!

While some of the instruction was in a classroom, much of it was outside on motorcycles.  You learn by doing.  They started at the beginner level, teaching us how to ride and control the bike.

One of the exercises was very interesting.  It had to do with properly making a full-speed sharp turn.  Now with a car, you just steer and it, by nature, stabilizes on its own (assuming you are not at some excessive speed).  On a motorcycle, your body and your lean is necessary for proper control.

But another very important point the instructors made was about where we were looking.  Many of us started by looking down right in front of the bike or at the instructors indicating if we were doing things correctly.  That was wrong.  We needed to look ahead in the turn.

“You will go where you are looking.”

That was the key.  If it was a big turn, you needed to look way ahead, even turning your head to look far into the turn.  Not the next few feet.  The instructors kept repeating that your body would take the motorcycle where it needed to go if you were looking at that destination far ahead, not just the next few feet.

In fact, if you only looked just a few feet ahead, you wouldn’t be able to make the full-speed sharp turn.  It just wouldn’t work.

As I work to improve my communication skills, my business and even my life, I often think back to that day on the course and remember to set goals that are bigger than just getting through the next day or week.

Where do you want to go?  What do you want to improve?  Are you locked in and focused on it?  Are you steering in that direction or just sitting hoping to be magically transported there in the future?

Good communication, and most everything else too, is not accidental.  Look, see, steer, drive, go.



About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.