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
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