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Leader, Use Your Rifle More than Your Shotgun

Effective leaders use their rifle more than their shotgun. 

I talk to so many leaders that get frustrated because they never seem to accomplish as much as they set out to do. Most of the time the reason is a fairly simple one.

They used the wrong approach to the work.

As leaders we often try to accomplish too many tasks in one day. We don’t create a realistic checklist – just an overwhelming mass of things we “need” to do. It makes us feel ineffective in all our tasks.

I call that the shotgun approach.

It’s running from task to task to task to task. At the end of the day you’ve done a lot of things, but none of them very well.

All of us have some days like that. They’re sometimes unavoidable.

But here’s my leadership suggestion. As much as possible, and doing otherwise should be the exception, not the rule –

Use the rifle approach.

The rifle approach is to carefully plan a realistic list of activities each day. It’s having specific objectives and ranking them from the most important to the least important.

Then it’s as simple as checking off each item as you work through the list, accomplishing as many as you feasibly can per day.

You leave most everyday with a sense of accomplishment. (That sounds good, doesn’t it?)

Sometimes we make leading harder than it has to be.

You will be surprised how much more you can accomplish when you use the rifle approach to planning instead of the shotgun approach.

Check out my new website design and my 5T Leadership offerings. One thing I love helping leaders do is managing the transitions in their leadership and life. Let me know if I can help you.

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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