Hitting Some Out of the Park:
The Excitement of Personal Home Runs
I’m not a big baseball fan. I
enjoyed playing when I was
younger, but I’ve just not gotten caught up in watching
nine innings of the game.
Perhaps it’s because the home runs are so few and far
between. Watching someone bunt, walk or get a base hit
slowly but surely adds runs to the scoreboard, but they lack
the luster of a home run with
the bases loaded.
Seeing that ball sail out of the park while the runners head
home and the batter tags each base in his victory lap is fun.
Setting and achieving goals is a bit like baseball. For the
most part, things don’t happen all that fast, and it’s not
always exciting. But if you want to win, you have to do the
things that put you on base in a consistent fashion.
We all have some goals we want to accomplish that aren’t
particularly inspiring or motivating. We want the result, but
we aren’t always excited about the process.
Unless they’re part of a bigger (and more inspiring) goal,
they tend to be what I call “maintenance goals”. Things
like a 15% increase in sales, a 10% increase in profits or
paying off a credit card.
To make the game more interesting, however, it helps to
have some home runs.
Last summer I was telling my friend Sterling Valentine
about my upcoming projects and explaining my plans for
several new ventures. I told him that business was up
23%, and I reviewed a couple of other things that would
clearly be viewed as quite positive.
But as I discussed these things with him, I noticed I didn’t
seem to have the passion I usually have. I said, “You know,
all this is good, it’s interesting, but what I’d really like to do
is hit a home run.”
He asked what that would look like. His question made me
think—and think hard.
What WOULD a home run look like? What kind of goals would
I look upon as they were accomplished and say, “Wow!
That’s a home run!”
So I made a list of goals that would qualify. They weren’t
safe, predictable, maintenance goals. They were BHAGS—big hairy audacious goals.
I chose three of them and decided to swing for the fence
on all three. I really had nothing to lose because even if I
fell short, I would have made good progress—probably
more than if I hadn’t gone for it.
And I got two out of three.
We more than doubled our 2005 business compared to 2004.
I’d done this before—two or three times—but our business
was much smaller then. Home run number one.
I created, launched and sold a 12-month team coaching
program (Diamond Club). I thought 21 participants would
be a home run for the first year. We have 43 enrolled, and
we still have another couple of weeks before we close it
for the year. Home run number two.
My third goal was a best-selling book (100,000 copies).
Didn’t hit that one—at least
not yet. But I do have two
books published and a third in production.
As a result of achieving these goals, I’ve never felt more
confident. I’m really looking forward to reaching for some
big ones in 2006.
What about YOU? Where are you on the “GO-FOR-IT Scale”?
Which of your goals or dreams would be a home run for you?
It’s good to have singles, doubles and triples, but every
once in the while, you have to take a big cut and swing for
the bleachers. You’ll strike out sometimes, but hey, even
the best batters do that.
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