When firing a weapon, the goal is to hit the target. As such, most people follow a very simple process to maximize accuracy: they ready themselves, aim the weapon, and ultimately pull the trigger. However, when this very simple, yet effective, philosophy is applied to business leaders, it tends to get perverted into one of the following:
Shoot, Ready, Aim – these leaders are decisive to a fault, many times making decisions without considering the consequences to either clients or internal resources. The many hasty changes in direction often lead to confusion as to what the brand truly promises or represents.
Ready, Ready, Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Ready, Ready, Ready, Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Shoot – displaying a classic “paralysis by analysis” approach, these leaders take far too long to make decisions. Many times those decisions have been made too late to really have their intended impact.
Ready, Ready, Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Defer – Similar to the “paralysis by analysis” above, this type of leader will survey the landscape for far too long before deferring the actual decision to others rather than make the decision himself.
Aim, Shoot, Ready – Taking time to focus their efforts, these leaders are decisive but fail to adequately inform or prepare internal resources to fully support initiatives. This leads to internal confusion and the “house is on fire” mentality that seems to permeate many businesses.
All of the above tend to create situations where employed associates, salespeople, and even leadership misfire on client deliverables and internal initiatives despite good intentions. To execute with a high degree of accuracy, standout leaders follow the tried and true method of skilled marksman: ready, aim, shoot. Doing so will carefully balance the need to be decisive while taking into account all the variables and impact the decision will have.