I had the tremendous opportunity of being guest speaker this week at Biz-2-Biz Berkshire, a vibrant group that has recently started up in Reading.
Being January, many of us may have already have given up our personal new year’s resolutions, but as business owners we will also have looked forward to the coming year and thought about what we need to do. So I thought it apt to give my talk about the art of goal setting and how we can truly inspire those around us by having real vision, and properly defined goals, which in turn have been broken down into manageable, doable, realistic steps.
And this all starts with dreams. A quick round robin of the attendees at the event showed that everyone has different dreams and aspirations and they were as diverse as ‘A self sustaining business’, ‘A legacy for my children’, ‘A helicopter pilot’s licence’ and given how cold it was, my favourite of the day, ‘No more winters’. Although I suspect nothing will beat the response I got from someone at an event I did for the British Computer Society, when I was told that their dream was ‘To own a cow’.
So when thinking on how can we go about converting our dreams into realities and I am reminded of the greatest goal setting exercise of mankind, John F Kennedy’s belief, “… that [America] should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade [of the 60’s] is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."
Much has been written about the event but the amazing thing is that JFK gave his public speech to the world on September 12, 1962 and just over a year later, on November 22nd 1963, he was assassinated. By that time however, his dream had become a goal that America, and no doubt many people around the world, become galvanised by and, as a result, totally and wholeheartedly committed to, and which, on July 20, 1969, less than 7 years later became a reality.
The dream must have been so big and the challenges so immense that most people would not have believed it could be achieved, indeed even today there are conspiracy theorists that do not believe it actually happened. Through those seven years, the dream that had been broken down into a series of goals and manageable tasks, took the world from limited space flight to a man walking on the moon.
Those goals and manageable steps had been made attainable, the right people had been enlisted to undertake them, and the obstacles were overcome.
Within our own world, or within the world of our businesses, we can do the same thing; we too can strive and ultimately land our own man on our hypothetical moon.