Stay on target and ignore social media flak

I’m not a big movie buff, but there are some exceptional scenes that stick in my head that are so useful as metaphors for other things in life they are hard to forget. One of these such scenes is in the original Star Wars when Luke is attempting to drop a charge into the two meter square achilles heel of the Death Star while his commander repeated “Stay on target” into the headset.

I was working on a social media piece with a client this week. As I was going through all the pieces and parts that we had been accumulating, curating and massaging over the past three years, that voice went off in my head; “stay on target… stay on target.” What prompted this was a tendency of the group to veer off into the newest, shiniest new social media thing where everyone in the room would either get quickly overwhelmed with the out-of-control entropy that resulted in thinking about how to manage all of this or shut down and want to do none of it.

My job was to keep everybody focused on the target, to keep things simple, manageable, understandable and effective.

Stay on target.

Even as I was guiding the fighter into the narrow channel, trying to hit that sweet spot, a distraction popped into my email inbox promising even greater rewards if I just took my eyes of MY target and looked at theirs. But I’ve been flying these skies enough to know that their promise of success was not going to be MY success; it will be theirs.

Stay on target.

Remember why you are doing all this social media in the first place and learn to ignore all the other distractions flying around in your head. Without focus — and faith in yourself and your mission — you’ll never hit your target.

Originally published at