Sunday, January 9, 2011

Becoming Audacious - Dream Big Dreams

If you've been around business for a while, you are familiar with the idea of BHAGS (pronounced “bee-hags”) or Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  The first time I became aware of this term was while reading Built to Last  by Collins and Porras. In their research, these fellows found that one difference between highly successful efforts and not was the use of ambitious, even over the top, goals to motivate and focus employees toward achievement.  I am an advocate of setting long-term, stretch goals, but find it difficult to "reach for the stars", so to speak.  Perhaps I am too conservative, or not enough of a dreamer.  I suspect it might also have to do with being more risk adverse than I'd like to admit.  I can be critical of others who aren't willing to take risks, but sometimes I should be pointing the finger at myself.

Perhaps you are like me, maybe you even have thought, "well, that's just my personality."  I have come to believe that everyone can learn to dream bigger dreams, set more audacious goals, strive to be more than we are.  I've come to believe that the extent to which we are willing to risk has more to do with the spiritual side of life.  Sometimes I think our willingness to dream big dreams is based on the fact that we don't feel worthy of success.  Sometimes I think it is due to the fact that we wrap too much of our personal value in the success or failure of our endeavors.  I also wonder whether we've somehow gotten the wrong idea about love and respect.  I wonder if we've incorrectly connected the love and respect of those dearest to us to our success.  I'd like to think I'm immune to these thoughts, but I'm not.  I too, have the occasional need to realign my thinking.

My pastor did a nice job of that today with his message about Audacity.  The message focused upon Jesus encounter with a Roman Centurian who had a sick servant (Luke 7:1-9).  Encounter may not be the right word.  See, the centurian didn't even come to Jesus, nor did he wish to bother Jesus with coming to his home.  He sent friends to ask on his behalf.  Then while Jesus was on his way to the centurian's home, he sent more friends to tell Jesus that he didn't deserve for Jesus to enter his home - he was unworthy.  Jesus is amazed to find such faith as the centurian says that if Jesus would only speak, his servant would be well.

We can learn some powerful, life-changing ideas from this Centurian:
1) This man believed that Jesus had the power to change a person's circumstances with just his word.
2) That God, through Jesus, desired to bless.
3) That it IS possible to make an Audacious request and still be humble.
4) And something that my mom has always said.  "The answers no unless you ask!" We'll never accomplish Audacious goals, or see God do Audacious things in our lives if we don't define them.

Finally, if you come back to read other thoughts and ideas (and I hope you will), one thing you are going to see over and over is that I cross seamlessly between thoughts on faith and thoughts of business.  They are impossible for me to separate.  In fact, I think it is imperative that we not attempt to do so.  Deciding to be serious about my business requires that I also be serious about my faith.  Moreover, Big Hairy Audacious Goals are about creating an environment where we must trust God for their success. If we could do it all ourselves, their probably not that audacious.

Dream Big Dreams.  Strive to Fill the Gaps in your life, in your community, in your Church, and in your workplace. Trust God to help you meet your Audacious Goals, and trust him to do audacious things through you.

jvt.