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Monday, December 20, 2010

Hitting The Target

The previous Blog post discussed the work of our District Leadership Team at their meeting last Friday. We are experiencing progress, growing together as a collaborative team forming common goals and shared meaning as we pursue our collective potential.

The nature and process of goal formulation can be a dynamic and complicated exercise. I am confident that the District Leadership Team is demonstrating care and professionalism in developing strategies designed to promote success at Heatly School. However, some organizations struggle to reach a constructive platform. That difficulty reminded me of a short anecdote on creating goals that I thought was amusing enough to share with you. The story was told to me by Dr. Gene Huddle, a very skilled school consultant who taught me a great deal about leadership.


     A friend of mine was recently touring the back roads of New England. He is a rifle instructor with a Reserve Officers Training Center (ROTC) marksmanship group. As he rounded a curve in the road the sight of several targets covering the side of a large barn surprised him. Each target had a bright red bulls eye. And, smack dab in the center of each bulls eye was a bullet hole.
     His curiosity aroused, he pulled in the driveway and made his way to the farmhouse, intent upon receiving advice from the accomplished marksman responsible for the excellent target shooting. Certainly this information would help his students.
     An elderly man greeted his knock on the door. Brief introductions revealed that the old man was the sharpshooter. The man accepted my friend’s invitation for a demonstration.
     Moments later the farmer emerged from the house, grasping a rusty bucket in one hand, and an unimpressive, outdated rifle in the other. The man faced the barn, checked the wind, raised the gun, (though my friend could not see any target) and blasted a shot. Then the elderly man sauntered over to the barn with his bucket and calmly painted a target around the bullet hole he had left in the side of the barn.
     “Works every time!” exclaimed the farmer.

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