b.a.l – be a leader

B.A.L is a simple acronym that stands for “Be a Leader!” Target loves acronyms so, I thought it was fitting to use one from my personal life to show case what leadership means to me and how I apply it to my career. The term stems from way back when I played high school football in New Jersey. It was my first game starting at quarterback and to ease my nerves, and my coach wrote “BAL” on my wrist tape. He said if I focus on leading and making sure the team is all pulling for a common goal, I’ll get the outcome I wanted. [Then he ripped up some end zone grass and made me eat it. He said you need to want to score so bad you can taste it.] I tell you this not so you can know my life story, but so you can see how something so simple can shape your passion and drive towards leadership.

Taking the BAL mentality to Target, I took advantage of any and all developmental opportunities offered. We use the term “own your development,” meaning use all the amazing chances you get to build your leadership brand and mold your personal style of leadership through a number of activities. The level of transparency in the company allows me the contact and open communication with leaders of all levels who are always ready and willing to share knowledge and feedback. The great variety of classroom and on the job lessons provided during my 6 week training period really set me up for success in my first role and gave me a better understanding of responsibilities as an executive team leader (ETL). [Being open about my goals and where I want to be with the company (tasting the end zone grass, if you will) has given me the opportunity to take the path and build the relationships necessary to get there.]

These tools, plus a passion for leadership, provides endless growth potential with Target. I came in with no retail experience at all, but had the ability to learn and the desire to lead. Target gave me the tools to build my style of leadership and grow as a manager. Every day I go to work, I get to be the quarterback of my team again. Motivating and training my team, empower my team leaders, mentoring my peers and inspiring others to all pull towards a common goal is how I use leadership every day. As ETLs, we manage a diverse team, a growing business and one of the most recognizable brands there is. All you have to do is BAL and the sky is the limit with Target.

“b.a.l – be a leader.”   -Coach M

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

15 Replies to “b.a.l – be a leader”

  1. Hi Vin,

    It was great to read your article! I am interviewing for an Executive Team Leader (ETL) position this week and therefore, enjoyed learning more about why you like working for Target and in this position.


  2. Hi Vinton,
    I am in the same boat as Elyse, I too have an interview this week and found this article to be really helpful. I appreciate the comparison you made to sports and how you took this position and made it personal.
    Thanks again


  3. Vinton,

    Your article is very inspiring and really highlighted how Target develops its people. It really articulated the reason why Target provided you with the tools to build your “style of leadership and grow as a manager.”

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. Vinton,

    Just like the previous posters I have an interview coming up and found your article indispensable in informing me about the possibilities available at Target.
    Thank you for sharing.


  5. I really enjoyed reading this article. I previously worked for Target and was there for approximately 5 years. It was my first job. While at Target I always admired and envied employees who were a part of the Executive Team. I left Target and went into banking. I have been in Banking for over 12 years. While in banking it allowed me the schedule opportunity to attend School while still working full time it was not easy but the reward and feeling of achieving my bachelor’s degree is paramount. I am back with an interest in Target with a bachelor’s degree and intensive supervisory/management experience. I am at the beginning stage of a 15-20 min phone conversation after reading your blog it has added to my interest and motivation.

    I Thank you

  6. Vinton,

    Great read. I’m down to my 3rd interview with Target and these blogs let me know why I want to be a part of theTarget family.

  7. Hi Vinton,

    Your story has inspired me in so many ways. It’s given me the courage to never give up on what you strongly believe in! I have a driven passion to continue working with people. Thank you for sharing story.

  8. Hi Vinton,

    Your blog has truly inspired me in numerous ways. I am up at nearly 2:30 a.m. reading your blog and thinking to myself, “wow, Target is even more amazing than I thought.” I have an interview tomorrow for the Executive Team Leader position in Charlotte, NC. and after reading your blog I feel more confident and motivated than ever to just get in there and do an exceptional job! I know that I have what it takes to be an amazing leader at Target and reading about someone like you following your dreams, only makes me want work 10 times harder. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are a truly inspirational individual.


  9. Hi Vinton,

    Thank you for sharing this story. I have an interview tomorrow for a Team Leader position. This story reminded me of my cross country team in high school. We would spend labor day weekend at a YMCA camp out in the Marin hills, just across the golden gate bridge. By doing that we were able to grow as a team and not leave anyone behind. We were there to push each other forward and encourage growth. We did different actives and games to bond as a group. Thats what made us such a successful team, because we had this great bond that made us the best in the school district.

  10. from rhode island ,like to join targets management team too ,any suggestions

  11. Glad to hear you’re interested in Target! All of our current openings are posted on target.com/careers. You can learn more about the application process by visiting our career site.

    Target Careers

  12. Oh my goodness, Vinton. Eating grass would definitely be a memory making moment. Great blog post!

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