Snipers vs Shooters

Recently a friend and I were discussing the process of tackling tasks.  (I know, we’re super interesting people…)

More importantly, we were discussing the specific differences in how people approach them.   We noticed a granular trend.  We were able to break the process down into two patterns.  Whether it be goals, chores, or projects – we seemed to discover a pattern.  A deliciously violent pattern.  (Blame it on the Xbox, or more significantly the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2 – my gamertag is ‘Signul9,’ come get some.)

The Battlefield
The ugly truth is that tasks have the nasty habit of piling up.  Procrastinator or not, things just seem to accumulate.  Each task has a task that has a task that has a task.  Shiny new goals or ideas, as exciting and passion filling they may be, will end up with an entourage of things that have to be done.

In no time flat, if you’re don’t’ start waging war on your tasks, you will be overcome, flanked and defeated.  You need a tactic, you need to develop your strategy.

The Shooter
Most people, businesses and books will teach you to be Shooters.  Hell, most people, business and books function this way.

“Here’s the base we’re attacking, get in there and empty some clips.”

Shoot first, and at anything that moves.  Clear the base room by room.  Watch your back, move quickly and get stuff done.  Work in teams, involving lots of resources.  Don’t hesitate.  Hopefully, you’ll get a couple killshots.   Spray and pray.  Anything that squeaks by will be dealt with later so long as you hit the main target, and clear it out.

The Sniper
The Sniper isn’t rarely seen in most common business/personal task tackling.  They have the tendency to group their tasks into one big priority target they take out in one single shot.  It’s a target of opportunity and it’s all they focus on.  No other tasks, or distractions, just this one thing that needs ‘killin.’

It may take Snipers a very long time.  They use minimal resources, and hardly make any noise.  They’ll remain in the shadows, hidden until they’re ready to expose their position and line their shot.  They don’t watch their back, they ignore enormous risk, they line their sights, breathe- and pull the trigger.

Hopefully… a headshot.

The Choice
Both choices get stuff done.  It’s true that one choice is way more clean and efficient, but sometimes being “clean and efficient” is what caused the tasks to pile up in the first place.

Most people can and will excel as Shooters.  Grunt work aggressiveness will get stuff done, albeit not always as cleanly as the work of a Sniper.  In most cases, a Sniper will produce a better, cleaner result than a Shooter, which may render the Shooter’s work forgotten.

On the contrary, Sniping will usually get you better results, but at the risk of time and, well, risk.  Job or Innovation wise, while you’re lining your shot, someone else might get it done before them,  leaving them with nothing.  All the time the Sniper dedicated, futile.

You see, both can cancel each other’s efforts by simply doing what they’re meant to do.   Additionally, a Sniper is not always a Sniper, and a Shooter is not always a Shooter.  Both may contain some abilities of the other, and in certain situations will switch roles.  Time, opportunity, cost and resources can all play a part in determining which tactic to use.

Gear up
Take a look at what you need to get done.  Which tactic can you use where?  Lock n Load!