BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal

What’s your BHAG?

goal setting example

BHAG is a goal setting term, originally proposed by Jim Collins and Joe Perras in their book Built To Last: Successful Habits of Successful Companies. BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal, and usually refers to a company’s bold and daring vision statement for where they want to be in the medium-long term. Here are some good examples of BHAG vision statements from companies you might know:

  • Amazon: Every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds. Also: Earth’s most customer centric company.
  • Disney: Build Disneyland – and build it to our image, not industry standards. To be the best company in the world for all fields of family entertainment.
  • Ford: “Democratize the automobile.”
  • Google: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  • Microsoft: “A computer on every desk and in every home.”
  • Sony: Change the worldwide image of Japanese products as poor quality; create a pocketable transistor radio.
  • Twitter: To become “the pulse of the planet.”

A BHAG can also be a personal vision statement. Where do you see yourself in 2 or 5 or 10 years? What are some bold or daring things you’d like to accomplish?

  • Run a marathon.
  • Write a novel.
  • Start your own company.
  • Ride a 30 ft wave.
  • Helicopter skiing the Alps.
  • Climbing Mount Everest.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Visit 30 countries.

Whatever your craziest goals and dreams are, write them down, and charge after them. Make sure your goals are SMART, and for extra accountability, use the SMART GOALS iPhone app (launching soon). And until you reach your goals, don’t give up.



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