Photo by ff137

If some people see your Big Hairy Audacious Goal as a snowball bound to melt away on a hot day, and others think you are whacked, you are on the right track.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals are BIG. How big? Big enough so you can only take them from impossible to possible by transforming yourself and your organization. They’re so big:

  • “Your idea doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Phoenix of succeeding–yet your gut tells you that if it does, the impact will be game changing.”
  • “Most of the people who you tell about your plans think you are whacked.”

Big Hairy Audacious Goals are those achievements passionate leaders dream about and others scoff at.

  • Man on the moon in 10 years (President Kennedy)
  • Transform minor desktop computer company into world’s largest, most influential consumer products company (Apple)
  • Restore a moribund football team (Coach Bo Pelini, Nebraska Cornhuskers)

(Blatant self promotion: Big Hairy Audacious Goals are best achieved with a leadership coach who may at first be the only one who believes in you, who thinks your idea isn’t whacked and can easily survive a hot Phoenix day. I am such a coach, and you can read more here about how I help make Big Hairy Audacious Goals possible.)

I got the two quoted points above about snowballs and whacked ideas from Dean Rotbart of Buzzsnatching, who shows people how to get national attention for their promotional efforts. He argued those points (and several others) separate a compelling, attention-grabbing idea from one that’s just ho-hum.

The same things, it seems to me, separate that ho-hum reach goal you might feel obligated to pursue from the Big Hairy Audacious Goal you passionately dream of pursuing.

Is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal cold and whacked enough? Tell me about it in the comments.

My thanks to American Marketing Association Lincoln for bringing Dean Rotbart to Lincoln. If you live anywhere near Lincoln, AMA’s excellent monthly educational luncheons are not to be missed.