What’s Your Big Goal?
SETTING BIG GOALS
The first job of a successful leader is to have an idea of where you want to lead people. I start off my Taking People with You program with a straightforward question: What’s the single biggest thing you can imagine that will grow your business or change your life?
I said it was a straightforward question; I didn’t say it was an easy one. The answer that you come up with is what I call a Big Goal, by which I mean something more than just small improvements or modest growth. It’s not very bold to do just marginally better than the year before.
Setting the right goal is the key to achieving success, and leaders often fall short in this area by not aiming high enough. None of us wants to fail, for a whole host of reasons (job preservation being among the top ones), so we tend to be cautious about how high we set our sights.
But the truth of the matter is, shooting for just good enough rather than for greatness will not inspire the people around you. It also means you’ll never get a chance to find out what you and the people you lead are truly capable of. And that’s a shame, for your business, for your people, and for yourself. So when you answer that question, take a moment to ask yourself: Am I thinking big enough? Use the following tool to help you think through your Big Goal and determine if you should be setting the bar a bit higher.
What's the single biggest thing you can imagine that will grow your business or change your life?
I use a tool to help ensure that I’m thinking big when setting goals for myself and my team. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a high jumper trying to figure out how high you should set the bar for your next jump. Should you set it a little bit higher than your last one? In order to make it over, should you use the same method you used before and just try a little bit harder?
What about a step- change instead? How would you get over a bar that was set twice as high as your previous jump? You certainly wouldn’t be able to jump that high using only your legs, so you’d have to think of new methods. You might use a vault pole, trampoline, or ladder to help you get over. Or maybe you could find a way to fly over the bar, in a hang glider, for instance.
Aiming for small improvements to the way you already do something is not going to change the way you think and therefore will not open up your mind to new possibilities. When you picture step- change, you are forced to come up with new methods with more potential. Remember, it is easier to make powerful ideas practical than it is to make pedestrian ideas powerful.
Remember, it is easier to make powerful ideas practical than it is to make pedestrian ideas powerful.
Author: David Novak
David Novak is co-founder and former executive chairman of Yum! Brands. He is an expert on leadership and recognition culture. He is CEO of OGO Lead, a brand committed to creating a better world through better leaders.