The Petko Bullseye

3 Days. 2 Functions. 1 Purpose.

Last week, my team and I had the good fortune of facilitating a brave three day offsite with 175 SpartanNash leaders who came together across two functions. One of the joys of our journey was on Day 2 when four members of their Executive Leadership came together in front of these leaders for what we called “A Courageous Conversation.”
Enter the affable David Petko.

Petko knows a thing or two about teamwork. Back in the 90’s, David was responsible for protecting Navy’s Quarterback as an Offensive Tackle at the same time as he earned his Naval Academy education. While there is no official Navy Motto, “Non sibi sed patriae” has meaning in the minds of Midshipmen.

Not self, but country.

I have written before how every corporation has citizens. In essence, the “laws” of culture can make any business feel like its own country. But back to Petko, who profoundly shared in this session something I’m now calling, “The Petko Bullseye.”

In essence, it was an exercise in prioritizing; guiding leaders across the organization to focus in on what’s in front of them.

At the center ring: What I can control
At the middle ring: What I can influence
At the outer ring: What I care about
In the abyss: What you can’t control, can’t influence and don’t care about

petko bullseye

Back to Petko’s days on the offensive line. For any casual fan watching from the stands, it sure seems like there’s a lot happening at one time. So much that it can be overwhelming. But for Petko, he has to block it all out and focus in on his task at hand.

If Petko does his job, the play goes on.
If Petko doesn’t execute in the trenches, the play breaks down.

Business is no different. Like football, it’s a team sport where each individual must know the macro task at hand while, at the same time, execute a micro task that is often different than many of ones fellow teammates. All for the purposes of helping your business move the ball down field.

When we’re successful, the business goes on.
When we don’t execute in the trenches, the business breaks down.

Here’s to controlling what you can control.
Good luck running the play in front of you.


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