On August 13, 2004, US Olympic athlete, Matthew Emmons won a gold medal in Rifle shooting in the 2004 Summer Olympic games in Athens and he was set to win his second gold medal of the games in another event. He had a commanding lead as the competition came to an end and was hoping to bury the field with a bull’s eye on his final shot.
He concentrated, exhaled, and squeezed the shot off…PERFECTION! But there was something wrong…Matt hit the bull’s eye, all right, but it was on the wrong target! His focus had been on the wrong thing. That error dropped him from standing atop the podium at the medal ceremony to eighth place and it cost him the gold medal.
While news of his mistake raced through the Olympic Village, many could not believe Emmons had done something like that. I probably would have gotten caught up in some “Emmons Joking” of my own if I had been there…but then again, I have been there…and I have missed targets of my own.
Like the time I lost my temper and blasted one of my direct reports in front of others…that is not “hitting the target” of how I want to be as a leader. Or how about the time I was so focused on completing a project at work that I completely missed my daughter’s championship soccer game. Talk about missing the target?! And you know what, I can’t even tell you today what I was working on that was so important back then…I have no recollection of it. But I still remember missing her game.
There are times when we can get “tunnel vision” and become so focused on a target that we lose sight of the target.
Take a moment and reflect on what is the target for today…stay focused on the right thing.