Using BHAG’s and SAG’s to Make Your Vision an Everyday Reality
What if you told people walking down the street that you had a BHAG? “A what?!” they say. “You know, big hairy-” and before you can finish the sentence you get smacked. So you try a different tactic. “Say, ma’am, did you know I’ve got SAG’s?” This time, you don’t just get smacked, the little old lady pulls out a couple of karate moves and leaves you panting on the sidewalk as she totters away.
No, a BHAG is not a new medical abbreviation for something nobody wants to know about. Nor is a SAG, despite its possible implications.
BHAG’s and SAG’s have a lot to do with your future, both the near future and the rest of your life. A BHAG is a “big hairy audacious goal” and a SAG is a “small attainable goal.” BHAG’s are more long term, visionary goals. They’re wild and crazy!
For example: “I want to stop particulate pollution world wide!” “I want to become the best salesperson in the company!” A father says, “I want to see all of my children reach graduate school if they want to! Or perhaps your church decides, “We want to see a large sub-Saharan African village clothed and fed!
SAG’s on the other hand, are the small steps that we can see easily to get to the medium and long-range goals. Using the above examples, maybe you work with the American Lung Association to make people aware of soot and pollutants that they breathe every day to start you towards your BHAG of eliminating particulates in the air.
Or, to become the best salesperson, you take an intensive course in sales and marketing. The father with the BHAG of seeing all of his children through graduate school might take his kids to meet various professionals. And the church with the vision for feeding a whole village might need to start with just gathering information.
SAG’s should be very practical and short term. You can put time limits or event limits on SAG’s to make sure things don’t become ambiguous or overwhelming. You might narrow your information gathering about poor African villages down to five sources or budget the money or time you spend on a basic sales course.
All goals are attainable, at least in theory, but “attainable” in the SAG sense means a goal that you can see or touch. Stopping air pollution or feeding a whole village does not feel very attainable right now from where I stand but the SAG’s under these goals are. BHAG’s give direction to SAG’s and give them purpose: SAG’s under-gird BHAG’s and give them structure.
[box type=”info”]Proverbs 13:4 says that “The soul of the lazy man desires and has nothing but the soul of the diligent will be made rich.” [/box]
Desire is important but it cannot get you to your goals alone. Diligence is one of the main cogs in the big wheel of reaching desire.
Looking up to check your direction and progress is very important and often people get lost when they forget to check. Perhaps you’ve heard of the airline pilot who says to his passengers after several hours of flight: “I have good news and bad news: We’re making good time, but we don’t know where we’re going.”
If you are being unaware, if you are enjoying the getting there too much or if you are going too fast you may end up in the wrong place.
So, if you know your BHAG’s, see what your SAG’s are, and are diligent with your SAG’s, making sure you look up frequently to check your direction and progress, you should be seeing results in all of your goals whether they are BHAGs or SAG’s.