As you stand at the bottom of the mountain looking towards the top, it seems insurmountable that you could ever get there.  Yet you know with the right planning and preparation, you can achieve this goal.  Slowly and steadily you will make your ascent, follow your plan, and get to the top of that mountain.  You will certainly encounter unexpected obstacles along the way and the journey will be difficult and challenging, but in the end, you will achieve what once seemed impossible: this is the culmination of connecting your values with high endeavor.


That is very much what it is like setting a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or a BHAG.  Jim Collins coined the term BHAG in his book, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”, co-written by Jerry Porras.  A BHAG is a very ambitious and bold long-term goal set by a company that drives them to their vision of success.  The goal may seem nearly impossible to achieve, but with planning and determination, the company moves slowly and steady toward this goal, not giving up until it is achieved.

The BHAG takes you out of your comfort zone.

Why would you want to create a BHAG?  The BHAG takes you out of your comfort zone.  It is big, bold, and exciting.  It is fraught with uncertainty. Since it seems close to impossible to achieve, it will need to become an obsessive focus for you and the company.  The goal may take 10, 20, or even 30 years to achieve, but it is so exciting, so engaging, that you will want to keep going no matter how long it takes.  Along the way, the company will have to maintain a level of excellence, along with focus and intensity, in order to keep their sights on achievement of the goal.

Collins address the demands and needs associated with the BHAG succinctly: the input creates the output. By inputting disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, and sustainable systems the output is superior performance, distinctive impact, and lasting endurance beyond the present.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals are meant to make a company and individuals extraordinary. They are not easy but they are worth the effort, and it takes a great leader to get them there. At Matt Walker Adventure we chase windmills and support individuals and teams high endeavors. If you want to lead your organization on a journey to achieve the impossible, please contact us to see how we can help.