What do you call a leader with no followers? A guy taking a walk. 

It is a line from The West Wing that I often think about. Within the context of the scene and the character, it is a response to a potential loss of leadership. In a broader sense, it begs the question of the importance of following in the footsteps of another. It is why leaders also are often referred to as trailblazers, those creating paths for others. 

Imagine if no one had followed Columbus across the Atlantic to America. Many historians point to the idea that the Vikings had been to America well before Columbus. However, no one followed the Vikings. The idea of America as we know it only started because others followed Columbus’ path to the new world. 

An important part of trailblazing was—and is—documentation. If Columbus had not made it to America, or just as importantly, not recorded his journey, the creation of our country may have never happened. If Lewis and Clark had not kept journals of their exploration of the northwest, the expansion of the country to the Pacific would have been even more perilous and not allowed our country to grow as it did.

Today, trailblazing and documentation take place in the form of standard operating procedures and best practices. Companies, organizations, manufacturers and individuals routinely—and I would say, quite kindly—provide instructions to help their customers and others effectively and successfully use technology or follow a process. It is also the repetition of these processes and use of this technology that provides the foundation for users and practitioners to expand, innovate, and forge new paths of success. 

Like Lewis and Clark blazing a path to the Pacific, Quality would like to provide the documentation you need with profiles of the companies leading our industry as well as an explanation of the standard operating procedures of force measurement. So, check out “Leading Amid Turmoil: Quality Leadership 2021” and “Peel Applications.”

Enjoy and thanks for reading!