By Ryan Giles//
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” This is one of my favorite quotes from Yogi Berra. While it’s humorous, it’s also very true. Years ago, when my company held its 10th anniversary celebration, I felt a slight tinge of disappointment. Several of the hopes and dreams of my earlier years had not yet been met. After a little soul-searching, I realized that I had not created concrete goals… I had no vision or plan to achieve these hopes and dreams. BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal – that’s what Jim Collins calls it. This is where it all begins.
A vision for your personal life as well as your professional life will ensure you’re making progress in every area of importance. Begin with a 10-year BHAG. What’s important to you? Do you want to own your own business? How about hitting a revenue target or dominating your market space? You could become a pilot, travel around the world, or set a goal to give a certain amount of money to charity. You’ll know you’ve got a good BHAG when it excites you… and scares you a little. The BHAG for your business can motivate your staff and should direct all decisions. When a vendor tries to persuade you to sell their wares, ask yourself, “Will this help me hit my 10-year BHAG?” When a partner wants to launch a new line of business, ask youself, “Will this help me hit my 10-year BHAG?” Decisions get much easier when viewed through the 10-year BHAG lens.
After establishing your 10-year BHAG, work backward to map out your three-year target. If your 10-year BHAG is to service 1,000 clients, your 3-year target may be 300 clients. Close your eyes and picture yourself three years in the future. If you’re on-track, what will it look like? How will you measure success–revenue, employees, profit? Keep track of your measurable, and remember to put an exact date on each goal.
Now we’re starting to have fun. After the three-year target, let’s set a one-year plan. If our 10-year BHAG is 1,000 clients, and our three-year target is 300 clients, our one-year plan could be 100 clients. With that goal of 100 new clients, we can begin thinking about quarterly and monthly targets. Twenty-five new clients within the next quarter would equal about eight clients per month. How many sales calls do you need to make in order to gain just two new clients each week? How many networking events or tradeshows should you attend? How many sales proposals should you send?
Whether you’re the CEO of a large company or simply the CEO of your life, your time would be well spent thinking and planning your future. After you’ve planned the work, you’ve got to work the plan.
I’ll leave with two more of my favorite quotes:
“Vision without traction is hallucination.” Gino Wickman
“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” Vince Lombardi