Friday, October 30, 2009

Set big, hairy, audacious goals for 2010; don't give up on 2009

We are in the 4th quarter of the calendar year. What can you do to impact the current final weeks of 2009? It is at this time of year that many companies get off schedule. They lose their focus as holidays approach, the temperature changes, and preparation for winter begins. To use a sports analogy, most games are won or lost in the 4th quarter; most races are won or lost in the final meters.

Lessons from dad
Now is the time to implement strategies that impact the 4th quarter results while simultaneously laying the foundation for 2010. My father sold pots and pans door to door in 1940. Remember, the world was still in a depression and a war was in its inception in Europe. From Thanksgiving to Christmas he walked, without much success, from house to house trying to sell his wares. The week between Christmas and New Years Day is, in our culture, a slow time.

But dad needed money for tuition, so he decided to keep knocking on doors. He had his best sales week ever. It seems that there were many men who had either not gotten their wives a Christmas gift or had gotten them an unsatisfactory gift. He set company sales records. His company was so impressed that they offered him a full-time sales manager position. His company noted that he was one of a very few that worked that particular week. Most of his peers had quit for the year. Yet he was successful because he kept knocking on doors.

Now or never!
Now is the time to implement strategies that impact your 4th quarter results while simultaneously laying the foundation for 2010. Set some Big Hairy Audacious Goals for 2010. If you knew you couldn't fail, what goals would you set? Remember, though, these goals have to be measurable and have a specific time frame.

The two reasons people don't hit their goals are that they never really set them or they set them and forget them. So, write them down. Post them. Get pictures to remind you of them. Get someone to hold you accountable.

In a few weeks I will be meeting with 10 fellow glass shop owners. I will announce my 2010 BHAG and challenge them to participate. Start running the race for next year now. Get a head start on your competition.

Break the tape!
Don’t quit on this year! Keep “knocking on doors.” Keep “running the race.” Don’t “quit” before the end of the game. Will you finish with a burst of speed to hit your goals or will you limp across the finish? It’s up to you. Do something today to break the tape in 2009!

—Bill Evans, president, Evans Glass Co., Nashville


George Usinowicz said...

Very encouraging article.

As Winston Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going!"

George Usinowicz
Durango Solariums, Inc. and the WarmVue Partnership

Anonymous said...

While BHAGs are important, I especially appreciate your advice about holding yourself accountable by posting BHAGs for others to see and help keep focus.

My quick add-on is that I encourage people to conduct autopsies upon missing or obtaining goals. While I find most people will want to understand why they missed a goal, I believe it's important to truly understand how/why you were able to meet goals in an effort to build a repeatable business model. I suspect your dad encouraged his sales people to make sales calls all the way thru year end as this would have likely proved to be a repeatable, and profitable, business practice.

By the way, I love the book "Good to Great" and found it's best to read Good to Great before reading Collin's previous book, "Built to Last".

Here's to a strong year end and all the best in 2010!

Kind Regards,
Scott Surma