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Leadership Lessons From A Sniper - Part 1


A sniper is a highly trained soldier who specializes in shooting targets with modified rifles from incredibly long distances. Snipers have come to be an important part of modern-day warfare. They either serve for reconnaissance (scouting and surveying of enemy lines and strategy) or even force-multiplication (where they do more damage with less kills). All in all, snipers have come to stay. Their level of training and expertise makes them less easily replaceable. When I consider the level of training and intensity of discipline shown and expressed by skilled marksmen, I am convinced that there are leadership and team-building lessons we could learn from snipers.


Leadership Training and Discipline

Nobody just turns up at the recruiting desk and is given the role of a sniper. Nobody! If behind enemy lines and the no-man’s-land portion of battlegrounds is going to be your second home, then you must be trained extensively. I have met more than a handful of people who have perfected the art of talking about their dreams, visions and plans, and have done nothing to prepare for it. The future is a terrain so complex that you would be better served arriving prepared.

Leadership, true leadership, is more deliberate than it is opportunistic. You work towards great leadership. Everyone who occupies a position of leadership and embraces it can tell you of his or her journey to their present stead. Leaders are trained in disciplines. Great leaders dedicate more time to development than to managing their fame.

My advice to you is this: read that book today, take that course today, learn that skill today. Get ready for your bright future. It’s time to get trained. Be intentional with your leadership journey.


Leadership Positioning

Positioning is essential to a sniper. He must take a position where his visibility is at least 100%. The sniper must position himself to see everything while staying invisible to the opposition. No compromise here.

An organization is strengthened in two areas: human resources and material resources. In human resources, hiring the right people is one thing and positioning them is another. A square peg in a round hole will never do the job as efficiently as needed, no matter how hard he or she tries.

As a leader, apart from properly positioning yourself, you must constantly ensure your group is strategically positioned to take on new heights.


How To Ensure Proper Leadership positioning

As a leader of a group or organization,

  1. Use the recruitment process as a position-determinant. There is no better time to place an employee as when he or she resumes on the first day. Most companies use professional profile programs to determine how best an individual can serve the company. I encourage this.

  2. Re-evaluate present employees, to see if one or more of them has grown enough to handle different or bigger responsibilities. In order to sustain an organizations culture, I encourage leaders to look inwards when trying to fill positions before looking to the market outside. Usually, one or two people would have grown enough to take on new challenges.

  3. Walk and work among the people. See your people at work. Ask the difficult questions and ensure the people are satisfied doing what they do. I don’t believe in hiring people who just want the pay. I believe every man and woman should be in a job where they learn and sleep satisfied having changed a life.

As a Leader,

  1. Regularly evaluate your strategy and methodology to ensure you are using your energy, effort and attention optimally.

  2. Make sure you are doing what you are best in, and delegating the rest. Let other leaders arise from your group; it makes for a better team.

Another aspect of positioning is relationship. You cannot be a leader and keep a company void of leaders. Eagles soar with eagles.

“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” Proverbs 13:20 (MSG)

Become a successful leader by hanging out with other successful leaders. You will learn a thing or two and they will push you to your best limits. Position yourself to be the best at what you do.

Leadership Lessons From A Sniper continues on the next post.


References

http://science.howstuffworks.com/sniper1.htm

http://science.howstuffworks.com/sniper2.htm

http://science.howstuffworks.com/sniper3.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sniper_team

Photo Credits: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2009

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