You Better Shoot to Kill

“Shoot to Kill or Don’t Shoot at All”

This was on a t-shirt I saw the other day.  While it was not clear, I don’t think this really meant anything about guns (based on the group of young people around at the time). I believe it was a mantra about focus.

In other words, if you are going to make the effort to share your message and ideas, make sure you are successful. Please note, however, this is not the same thing as shoving your words down someone else’s throat, or in this case, ears. The goal is not to overwhelm and destroy, but to select and deliver.

Looking down the barrel of a gun

Maybe I am just commandeering this idea for my own interests, but I think this is a great message for effective communication. We need this type of focus whether we are working to improve our marketing efforts, sell our project idea, nail a job interview, or close a deal.

A military sniper prepares and practices for many conditions and situations. They are not just someone who can aim a gun well and pull a trigger. Their work is a skill and skills take practice to obtain and retain. Once learned, more practice is needed not only to be better but to not become worse.

The same concept of smart practice applies to how we share our ideas and messages. The ability to speak or write does not make you a great speaker or author. If your messages and ideas are of true value to others, you must work to improve how you share these ideas. Aren’t your ideas worth this effort?

Everyone is bombarded by information these days. Simply adding your own generic bullets of boring information to the bombardment actually makes your ideas easier to ignore or forget. Like a sniper, you must learn to carefully select your target, choose the most effective delivery, then aim and time your delivery.


Glenn S. PhillipsGlenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself.  You can email Glenn directly at

Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.

© Copyright 2012. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.