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Run To Daylight!

jjIn my book, The Strategic Leader: New Tactics for a Globalizing World, I present the tactic of Running for Daylight.  Basically it means to know where the goal line is, preplan, run in place for a while, and when an opening occurs pounce on it vigorously. In the book, I identified the tactic by observing that the same people were always first to receive the incentives being offered by the organization.  Basically they knew what was happening, where they were going, and were ready with a plan when the door opened. 

I named the tactic Running to Daylight which I borrowed from the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi who used it to describe the football play he attributed much of his success with the Green Bay Packers in the late 1960’s.  However, it was not the only time that I saw the tactic in action.

As a young man, I would frequent Brandywine and Liberty Bell Race Tracks outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania to watch and lay a wager on a trotter or a pacer.  I went often enough that I began to see patterns in the races that a 18 year old driver, Herve Fillion was entered.  The pattern I noticed was positive [not the negative betting pattern he was later charged with].

What I noticed was that no matter what class of horse Herve was driving, when he came around the last turn and headed for the finish line he had put the horse in a position to win - 3rd slot on the outside - so that if the horse had anything left in his tank he had the chance to win.

After a few times seeing this phenomenon, I always bet on Herve not the horse. Herve went on to capture 15,000 career wins, nearly twice as many as his closest competitor. He was the youngest driver elected into the Standard Bred Hall of Fame.

The secret to his success - “be in the right spot at the right time.” What we know from watching Herve is that he preplanned the race, fought for position, and when day light appeared he vigorously encouraged his horses to give their all.

       The takeaway for strategic leaders is that when        opportunity comes, it's too late to prepare! – Fortune favors the prepared!
The SL Formula for success! SLers put the following elements together to position their team/organization for success.

·         Mission/purpose + Core Values + Aspiration = vivid description and guiding philosophy. 
 ·         Guiding Philosophy + Priorities/initiatives = a tangible image called a Statement of Intent.
 ·         Statement of Intent + Systems (Strategic Thinking and Strategic Execution Protocols) + A Way of Working (managing, transforming, bonding, bridging, & bartering actions) results in high performing organizations. 

Use the formula to put your team/organization in a position to win! 

Have a few beers, glass of wine, or cups of coffee, read the book, view the slides, and think about it! Are we having fun yet? 

What do you think? Do you have a story to share?

John Pisapia

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