Leading with a BHAG

“What if you fail?….. Ahhhh, but what if you succeed?”

There are countless factors that contribute to helping leaders rise. I want to provide one personal experience. I hope that some of you will find it meaningful as you go through your personal leadership journey.

James Collins coined the term BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). I have been a believer of that theory long before BHAG came out as a term. What I have found, throughout my career, is that big goals motivate teams. For example, when I worked for the Chicago YMCA, Mayor Dailey was very concerned about gang murders and he called on the Y to take the lead over the summer.

An area of Chicago had experienced 16 gang related murders the summer prior. We set a goal of eliminating gang-related murders during our summer engagement. The goal rallied my team and the whole community, and we achieved our dream. Most naysayers thought our effort would not produce the significant results that it did. It was “impossible”.

The pride I have seen on the faces of contributors in this instance and many others is one of my most rewarding experiences.

Since it starts with you, ask yourself if your challenges are significant. Can you stretch more? Can you help your team reach higher? It does require taking a risk

What if you fail? Ahhhh, but what if you succeed?

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