Hold Your Fire & Aim Strategically

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your strategic thinking skills. Reading time: 2:43

        There are six animals: a bear, a bull, a horse, a lion, a tiger and a wolf. If you put them in a single cage, which would dominate as the strongest animal?

        You picked the horse right? Of course you did if you thought more strategically than simply logically.

        It’s a matter of timing. Not speed. Not strength. And strategic timing is key leadership skill.

       Let’s see what we can learn about strategic timing in solving your own problems from the way the horse emerged victorious over his stronger foes. The horse first adopted a wait-and-see attitude when the animals charged into each other.

       The horse held back and let other five animals claw and jaw each other to death. Then when the bear emerged the lone victor from that initial battled, the bear charged after the horse.

     The horse stood firm and poised. The horse leverage his height advantage over the bear and at the precise moment the bear bared his teeth and leaped with an intended death grip, the horse timed a well-placed kick in the bear’s eyes.

      “Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes”

Colonel William Prescott’s statue at the Battle of Bunker Hill Monument

        Then the horse kicked and kicked again and again until the stunned bear seemingly turned into a bear-skinned rug.  The horse proved the strongest animal over the bear, over the bull, over the lion, over the tiger and over the wolf.

       Indeed, timing is everything in executing a winning strategy. You don’t have to be the boldest, the baddest or the maddest. But as a leader you do have to be the smartest in strategically wrestling the hands of time.

     That’s why the response time of a preying mantis is five milliseconds faster than its prey–the fly. Timing is everything.

    That’s why the difference between a foul ball and a hit in baseball is one-hundreth of a second. Timing is everything.

    And that’s why ranchers don’t allow their horses to graze at the beginning of the spring because the grass then is too rich for the horses to easily digest. Timing is everything.

    So the next time your leadership is challenged, especially when you’re facing enormous odds, hold back. Hold back on your natural tendency to erupt with anger. Hold back from your passion to come out with all guns blazing like as if you were in a shootout  in those old Western movies.

        Instead, pull a Prescott. Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes, as the American Revolutionary War hero Colonel William Prescott famously said at The Battle of Bunker Hill. The closer you are the more accurate your aim. And accuracy takes time.

        No wonder, timing is everything especially when you are on a horse. With a mission.

Today’s ImproveMINT

         Timely decision-making is critical to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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