Letter to Leaders Twelve - Cherry pickers

May 16 Written By 

Hello, Leaders.

One mindset we notice in high-performing teams is that of the “cherry picker,” sometimes called a “goal hanger” or “poacher.” The “cherry picker” positions themselves in locations around the goal where they’re most likely to see scoring opportunities. These folks have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

The famous Zig Ziglar quote about success illustrates this idea precisely:

Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.

“Cherry pickers” are masters of this type of success. Each team should have someone who “hangs around the hoop” as they say in basketball.

During my club soccer days, we had Brad. He was notorious for scoring off loose balls and deflections by always being around the goal. I asked him how he developed these skills, and his response stuck with me. He learned how to recognize patterns of where the ball moved and listened to the opposing team’s chatter. Leveraging this insight, he expected the ball to come his way and stayed patient until it did. While everyone else was running around, he’d bide his time, knowing he had an advantage.

I’ve noticed effective “cherry pickers” in business do the same. They watch and listen to what’s going on in their industry and with their clients. They embrace problems others avoid. “Cherry pickers” have an eye for trends, gaps, and unmet needs. They possess unyielding optimism and patience. They take action and adapt.

There’s an old Hebrew word used in the Bible called Qarah, which means “positioning for right happenings.” I like that idea of positioning ourselves for success.

We appreciate you and thank you for your leadership.

Until next time.


David and Marty