Who are you going to become over the next decade?
As we focus on our own growth and development, we can achieve incredible things. This achievement fundamentally changes us, as we recognize our capabilities and pursue new heights.
There is no better time than now, the start of a new decade, to plan your next great accomplishment. This goal, the one that inspires you for the next decade, is your BHAG.
What is a BHAG?
Pronounced bee-hag, the term was popularized by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”. This is where Jim and Jerry introduced the concept of Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAG for short. These long term goals proved, in the corporate world, to be an indicator of exceptional company success. A BHAG has a way of motivating people, and reminding them of their overarching objective, in a way that a long-winded mission statement cannot.
With proven success among corporate goliaths; think Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, or Tesla, it’s about time we applied some of these world-changing principles to our own pursuits.
How do you set a BHAG?
Big Hairy Audacious Goals have a few key characteristics that they must be:
- Forward Looking - does your BHAG tell you where you’ll be in the future?
- Exciting - does your goal fill you up with energy? Will it continue to inspire you for the years to come?
- Adventurous - is your goal hairy and audacious enough? Is it big enough to keep you up at night? Or to wake you full of excitement in the middle of the night?
Examples of BHAG’s
It is one thing to think of a company like Google (Alphabet), and their BHAG to organize the world’s information. Certainly, they have near unlimited resources to devote to their goals and ambitions. But can you set a BHAG for yourself, that would lead you to new heights?
The answer is a resounding yes, we’ve all heard the stories of individuals who set BHAG’s for themselves; Thomas Edison in harnessing electricity to generate light (the light bulb), Alexander Graham Bell by sending near-instant communication across the Atlantic (the telephone), or Roger Bannister in his athletic achievement, breaking the 4-minute mile. These individuals all set Big Hairy Audacious Goals, and achieved things that changed the world.
Often we think these successes were made by extraordinary individuals, but that simply isn’t true. These successes were achieved by normal folks, people like you and I, who had extraordinary goals.
Let me ask you again, what BHAG are you going to set for this decade? Who will you become, as you grow into further success?
I can’t wait to experience the future you are going to shape.