Big goals matter (Episode 1)

Big goals matter (Episode 1)
January 5, 2011 Derek Fournier

This year my beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers were coming off of a 3-13 season. They had the youngest team in football, an inexperienced coaching staff and front office and an ownership group that the fans decried as being cheap and disinterested. All in all, this team was heading into the toilet; fast. Well something weird happened on the way to the toilet. Their young coach stepped up and set a pretty big goal. He called it, “The Race to 10.” He came out and despite the youth and poor performance last year, the lack of new arrivals of proven performers in free agency and despite a local of support by the local fans; he set a goal to get to 10 wins.

People thought he was nuts. What he did was rally his team. This is something that you are all doing. When we work without teams sometimes we lose sight of goal setting. It is often shelved as a ‘nice to have” item when in reality, a consistent and small set of overarching goals (when supported by tactics that will help the team achieve the goals) is perhaps one of the most critical things a leader can establish and enforce.

In the case of “The Race to 10,” Coach Morris enacted a simple mantra to help his young squad focus on the goal.

  • Play Fast
  • Play Hard
  • Play Smart
  • Play Consistent

No overly complex mission statements. No cryptic marketing messages. These four key tactics seem overly simple but when you look at how people overcomplicate tactics, there is beauty in the simplicity.

As we fast forward to the end of the year, the Bucs got to 10 wins. It was the largest single season turn around in team history. The impossible was achieved.

We will be discussing a number of the things that happened this year and the implications on your planning throughout this blog and vblog series. As you read and listen to the content, think about the implications of this approach to your management.

Edit: I was wrong, it is Big Hairy Audacious goals and according to Wikipedia, the term Big Hairy Audacious Goal (“BHAG“) was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1996 article entitled Building Your Company’s Vision. A BHAG encourages companies to define visionary goals that are more strategic and emotionally compelling.

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