Take Aim! Lessons from our Founding Fathers

By Susan R. Schilke,  August 12, 2014 @

TeamStrength member CEOs and Key Executives remind me at times of the early leaders in this country. They take time to aim, and they creatively tap into the strengths of their team to find an redcoatsadvantage.

Let’s go back to the Revolutionary War. Our founding fathers had pledged independence from British rule, and were fighting for our freedom.

The primary weapon was a musket, a long gun firing lead balls. Engagement happened at close range. British soldiers, Redcoats, would create two lines, one kneeling and one standing, shoulder to shoulder. An officer would issue the command:

Ready… Fire.’

The lines of soldiers would fire simultaneously. Muskets were limited in longer range, targeted use. Aim wasn’t a factor. But at close range and in high numbers, muskets would do some damage.

The Colonial militia used similar tactics, but often were outnumbered and outgunned. In battles with musket firing lines and close combat, it was sometimes a numbers game. Both sides would suffer casualties, and the larger force would prevail.

We needed an advantage.

One was found by tapping into a unique talent of the militiamen. Colonial America was populated with farmers and hunters – men and their families carving out lives in previously unsettled lands. They relied on crops and game – and the ability to bring down their prey without the benefit of a firing line. For that, they needed aim.

They used rifles – weapons with longer range and better accuracy than a musket. And they became accomplished sharpshooters to put dinner on their tables.

In famous Revolutionary battles, Americans used this marksmanship to their advantage.

largeberdans-sharpshooter-1863

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Battle of Cowpens, American forces placed sharpshooters in the front line, and began picking off British officers before their troops were in firing range. A second line of sharpshooters continued to thin the British numbers. By the time close combat started, Americans had the upper hand. The battle lasted less than hour, was a decisive victory for American forces and proved to be a turning point in the war. The command for the marksmen?

‘Ready, AIM, fire.’

The difference was Taking Aim.

TeamStrength members take time regularly to work on their aim. I invite you to do the same. Take advantage of the tools on our website – the same resources we share with TeamStrength members each month.

This month we introduce the Aim! Worksheet – use this to map out a plan to achieve a key business or personal goal. Take time to aim. It can make all the difference!