I’m a fan of setting goals – small ones and Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAGs) as Jim Collins wrote in his book, Built to Last. When I owned my previous company, Skyline Ohio, I would collaborate annually with my management team to put together our company goals for the following year including financial, growth, process improvements, etc. I would present the vision to the entire company at our kick-off meeting in January of each year. Part of that meeting would include announcing the revenue goal for the upcoming year. I always included two numbers – our target revenue goal and a larger goal which would qualify the entire company for a sales-incentive trip – the BHAG!
Each year when I would present this revenue goal, I was met with shock and awe…. “How will we EVER reach that goal compared to what we did THIS year?” Spoiler Alert! Each year we would hit the BHAG goal, and I would have the exciting job of standing up in December and announcing, “We Did It!”. Over the years the BHAG rewards were trips to Jamaica, Cozumel, Cancun, a Dude Ranch in Colorado, Florida, Puerto Rico, etc. Here’s what I learned…. It’s a leader’s job to have unwavering vision to see the big picture and move the needle. Someone needs to be at 36,000 feet pushing forward and striving for more.
VISION – THE ABILITY TO SEE INTO THE FUTURE, TO “IDEATE,” TO EFFECT CHANGE, TO CREATE WHAT WE WANT.
All leaders should set goals. But there is a difference between having a standard goal and rallying around a huge, daunting challenge that seems like a mountain to climb. When you set a clear and compelling goal it serves as a unifying focal point for the team and creates immense comradery and team spirit! BHAG’s are tangible and drive energy into your team because it has a clear finish line, so the team knows when it has achieved the goal. People like finish lines; they help us focus on what we want – our unwavering vision!
Every day, life and business events present us with a set of choices and challenges. But with unwavering vision, we can either focus on what is wrong or challenging, or we can lean in toward what we want. When we focus on what’s wrong/bad/hard, the “fear centers” of the brain activate, sending us into a subtle, yet pervasive fight or flight state. When we focus on the things that inspire/motivate/fascinate us, the “smart part” of our brain lights up, enabling us to be focused, creative, strategic, and proactive.
As a leader, step out of your comfort zone, set your BHAG! Don’t worry about how it will happen. If you can see it with unwavering vision, you (and your team) can achieve it!
We would love to work with you and your leadership team to lead with vision and manage with wisdom. Check out our website for more information on our consulting and advisory services. It’s lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be!