Last time, we started exploring the deep and extensive wealth of the leadership lessons we could learn from snipers. This is a continuation of the series: Leadership Lessons Form A Sniper.
I think my greatest attraction to snipers is the fact they don’t waste bullets shooting everything in their view in an attempt to shoot one target. Snipers are purposeful. Often times than not, they have a target in mind before they leave base. That is purpose.
Purpose is essential to successful leadership. Without purpose, time, talent, treasure and opportunities are misused and abused. Purpose simplifies the assignment, specifies the mission and focuses energy. Just think of how it would feel, knowing that there were 10 vacancies in your office that you aspired to, and your boss walked up to you and said, “You got the job!”. Inasmuch as you would be somewhat excited, your elated emotions would be punctuated with the question: “What job?”. This is what purpose asks: “What job?” Just as the sniper asks “What’s the target?”, you must ask “What’s my purpose?” if you are going to lead a successful life.
Leaders understand and fully embrace their assignment. It is their responsibility to make sure the team arrives at the predetermined destination.
Purpose naturally leads to focus.
These elite military personnel have an incredibly high degree of focus. Assisted by their high-powered lenses, they are able to cut out anything that distracts them their target.
You cannot live a purposefully successful life with your attention drawn on every side. It just can’t happen. Success comes naturally with laser focus. Normal light cannot cut through metals, but try focusing it and the metal will yield.
Focus generates an exceeding amount of energy necessary to break through opposition. Think force divided by area; little area and good amount of force and you have penetration. Hey leader, sit down and get to business. You cannot lead a race wondering what the other runner is doing in his lane. Your attention must be thoroughly focused on what is before you—your assignment—and that.
Just like snipers, if you can’t focus your attention on your purpose, you will miss your target. Guaranteed!
No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him. 2 Timothy 2:4 (AMP)
There are few crafts that demand patience like being a sniper. These group of men and women are known to spend days waiting for that one opportunity to hit the target. In their patience, they have learned how to endure harsh weather conditions. To be successful, we must be patient and learn to endure through our process.
The first dimension of patience is the patience through the process of training. There is no hazard as dangerous as a poorly trained military personnel on the battleground. He not only endangers his life, but the lives of his fellow soldiers. In patience, you learn all you need to for the task ahead, the character of the target and how best to work within the prevailing conditions.
As leaders, we must be patient with the process. There are projects that yield results quickly and those that need a reasonable amount of patience. When we have executed the plan, we must learn to trust the process. Many of us give up too early. We lack the staying power needed to sit put until what we have been working on materializes. Ask any great man or woman and you will learn that there are times that having done all you can, you must wait for things to come to be. I am not saying we become complacent and laid-back. What I mean is patience and waiting till the baby is born even if it hurts. We must be patient.
So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:4 (MSG)
More on Leadership Lessons From A Sniper in the final part of the series.