Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
BHAG: Big, Hairy Audacious Goal
A BHAG is a long-term goal that stimulates progress and is a compelling focus point to unite an organization towards something that seems daunting, inspiring, and sometimes…beyond achieving.
The concept was introduced by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in the book Built to Last.
And, it’s no joke.
Last year, I enlisted my amazing friend, Hayley, to teach my team how to create BHAGs. She had led one of our most successful divisions in this exercise, and she agreed to walk us through the process, as well.
Here’s what we did:
Step 1: Read this except from Jim Collins. (3-5 minutes)
Step 2: Used the 5x5x5 method to create personal BHAGs. While this post encourages BHAGs on an annual basis, Hayley told us it’s ok to have BHAGs that could take 5-20 years to achieve.
Hayley advised that “regardless of the time frame one puts around their BHAG(s), the one thing that must always be present is inspiration.”
Step 3: Wrote them down and prepared to iterate. Hayley shared that BHAGs can be hard to get right the first time. “The concept is simple, but it isn’t always easy.”
Here’s what I experienced
Creating BHAGs made me feel excited, vulnerable, arrogant, humble, nervous, consumed…and, ALIVE.
After some reflection, I knew what those big things were that seemed just out of reach. These were the things that I thought about way, way, way in the back of my mind. They were the things that usually started with “I wonder what it would be like to…”
Even giving words to the things I’d been imagining made me giddy.
Then, the BHAGs I’d defined in 2017 started happening in 2018 and I almost lost my sh*t.
When I got the call, for example, that a *real company* was curious if I’d be interested in speaking at a few of their events.
It was the BHAG that I thought was most out of reach. Most aspirational. And, here it was knocking on my door!
So, it’s BHAG season, friends.
If you’ve never done them before, it’s time.
If you have BHAGs, time to give them a refresh.
Be bold with your bad selves.
Then, arrive to your life with expectation.
See what Big, Hairy, Audacious-ness meets you there.
- What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn) – This visually beautiful book will inspire you to make ‘one day’ …today.
- Seth Godin’s Podcasting Fellowship – As Godin says, podcasting is the new blogging. And, he makes it accessible to figure out how to enter this new medium with an inexpensive online course.
- You’re It – In this episode from Godin’s own podcast, he shows us that the world has changed. We are now…all…makers. And, the ‘gatekeepers’ are gone. It’s a unique time to be alive and to be able to put something into the world to share. Go get ’em, people.
- My 2018 BHAGs (and a few draft ideas I’m considering for 2019)
- Detailed Guide to Create BHAGS
Amy, when you’re a part of the conversation, inspiration is *always* present. I am so honored to have been a tiny part of your BHAG journey. Your tenacity and fearlessness are simply awe-inspiring. You didn’t just Lean In, you Jumped In with your whole heart and it’s already paying dividends in every way imaginable. Love you friend!
Hayley – how is it that your words can go straight to my soul every time!!!? Thank you for being my BHAG guide and for inspiring me every day in #wholeheartliving! Love you, too. 🙂