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03.13.17

Create the Target Before You Shoot the Arrow

Create the Target

I
SAW A CARTOON years ago in which Charlie Brown shot an arrow at a fence and then proceeded to draw a circle around the arrow. At some level, he found this satisfying. This is not how great leaders think.

Having just returned from our annual meeting with over 5,000 chicken people present, I am thankful we took the time to draw the target before we shot the arrow. We will see what the attendees have to say, but preliminary reports are positive. I think the event hit the mark.

Here’s the leadership lesson that comes to mind as I reflect on the event. One of the reasons it was a success—not the only reason, but one of them—is that we decided what we were trying to accomplish before we created the event. We drew the target BEFORE we shot the arrow.

I’m wondering how often, as a leader, we fail to clearly define the target. I think about all the times my leadership efforts have fallen short . . . how many of those failures can be attributed, directly or indirectly, to an unclear target or goal?

There are many things leaders CANNOT do for their people. However, clarity regarding intent should never be in short supply. People must always know what they are trying to accomplish.

The greatest gift leaders can give their people is clarity.


The power of clarity transcends targets, goals, and objectives – it includes vision, values, and strategic intent, as well as other tactical issues. But what we are trying to accomplish cannot get lost in the process.

Clarity enables alignment, and alignment is a prerequisite for performance.


When you identify the target with crystal clarity, I think you may be amazed at how often your team will hit the mark.

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Leading Forum
Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-Fil-A.

His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:22 AM
| Comments (0) | Leadership Development , Teamwork



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