Our biggest misses come from “Snap Shooting”

It is important that when the unexpected happens, for us to avoid “Snapshooting”.  Snapshooting (not a word) is a term used by a good friend who taught me how to shoot moving targets with a shotgun many years ago.  Every time I would miss he would tell me to stop Snapshooting!  He was referring to me making a quick shot and not following the process he had taught.   Every time he would correct me, I would successfully make the next shot.  If you look at most failures in business and in our personal lives, they come from making snap decisions.

Remember that “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”. This is not an original quote.  I have had a hard time finding the source, however is seems to be a derivative of original quotes from Benjamin Franklin and Winston Churchill.  Nonetheless, it is extremely powerful and hit home for me on so many levels.  At this time of year, our organization starts planning for the coming year which involves goal setting and the creation of operational plans, which together make up our overall strategy.   It requires leadership, discipline, and the right framework and participation from every level.   Equally important is to not forget the process when mid-term issues/opportunities present themselves;  just because we did not plan for them at the beginning of the year does not mean that coming up with the right solution should not follow a similar process.

If you are leading your organization or a part of it, never except ideas/requests for significant changes unless they are accompanied by a well thought out and vetted plan.  Also be approachable and willing to contribute to the plan, but help the other leaders in your organization grow by empowering/requiring them to be the ones who draft the plan (think through the idea, the risk, the expected results).   The outcomes will be much better and the risk of “missing the shot” will be greatly reduced.

“Leadership evolves with accountability”

Leadership check-up:  How much are we holding ourselves and others accountable vs. being held accountable by others?

If we have to check in with others weekly, set goals, ask for reports, and constantly help innovate, it likely means there is some leadership lacking on their part (this is fine if they are in roles where the need is expected).   However, if there are up and coming leaders that report to us and they have been vocal about their desire to grow, the most important thing for them to realize is that leadership evolves with accountability.   These individuals and their organizations cannot grow if their level of accountability does not grow.  It starts with them holding themselves accountable to their own responsibilities so that they do not require management, and only require leadership from others at a high-level.  Then it evolves to them requiring a much lower level of being held accountable by others, and them starting to effectively hold others accountable.

Back to the Leadership check up:  We all will remain accountable to others at some level.   However if we assess the level of accountability between those having to hold us accountable vs. those we hold accountable, it reveals quite a bit in regards to where we are with Leadership.