The fourth of July celebrates our independence from British rule and the founding of the United States of America. Having gone through a recent fight for independence of my own, I’ve found that independence is often a self-governance you find within yourself. It exists in the goals we set for ourselves and the discipline, consistency, and daily habits we implement to get there.
Let’s go back to our country’s original fight for independence. In 1775, our founding fathers pledged independence from British rule, and began the fight for our freedom. Their battles were waged with muskets, a long gun firing lead balls, with engagement happening at close range. British soldiers 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.
The 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. They thinned the frontlines through sharpshooters before the British were in firing range, leading to some decisive victories. This shift in strategy proved to be a turning point in the war. The command for the marksmen? ‘Ready, AIM, fire.’
The difference was taking aim.
TeamStrength leaders share many traits with our founding fathers. They are agile and take the time to regularly work on their aim. With this clarity on the path forward, they motivate teams, create momentum and drive their companies to accomplish more.
Revolutionary Leadership by Pat Williams shares stories from the leaders of our revolution. And a common theme is a strong sense of self, George Washington being a prime example. The founding fathers and our members have clarity into their own character, their faults and their strengths. They know what they bring to a room, and when they need to bring others in.
We can only be free when we find that self-governance and understanding within ourselves. Take it from some of the best leaders we know, start with yourself. What do you bring to the table? Where are your opportunities for growth or to leverage your relationships? What can you proactively take aim on in your life to get you and your company to the next stage? How are you winning your independence?