Thinking BIG pays off!

Did your plans come to fruition in 2013? Were you able to make your company’s goals a reality? I hope so! If you did, I hope that the goals were something to be excited about, forging a new frontier, creating a “first” or going beyond what the organization used to believe was possible.

Meeting goals is important and therefore we are taught to set SMART goals–Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Wise advice most of the time. But I also know that growth only happens when we stretch ourselves. When we reach beyond what we thought we could do. It is what is necessary to achieve the next plateau in business, as well as find out what you are made of.

That is what I did this year. You may remember that last January I came back from Haiti and the orphanage that I visit there with a new mission: find a way to get 100 poupees into the hands of the girls at the orphanage this Christmas. I wrote the blog Are You Thinking Big to describe the challenge. Why was it so important? Because SophiaPierre, a lovely young 12 year old asked me for one, and she had captured my heart. And you can’t give just one–you have to give to all.

In order to understand the magnitude of the mission bear in mind that I am not a crafty person. The last thing I made was an apron in sewing class in middle school. I think I passed but we didn’t keep the apron. I raised sons and spent my days going to baseball games eating dust; no dance classes, barbies or girlie pastimes. I was/am a “tom boy”. But by golly, if SophiaPierre wants a doll to love, Lord knows I will find a way to get her one.

Now my perfectionism kicks in–it has to be the “right” doll. It has to be lovable and express love back. It has to be simple so that it can be made easily. It has to be affordable because we need 100 of them. In the end, it took a village. It took an exceptional designer to make the prototype and patterns for “manufacture”; it took an expert seamstress with lots of friends to create the “kits” for each doll; it took dozens of enthusiastic women to sew the dolls and it took dozens more to sponsor them. In the end, I realized I had the vision, but others did the work. Why? Because they were inspired. The goal was clear, it was bigger than any one of us, and they were enthusiastic to become a part of the effort. They could envision the dream and wanted to help make it happen.

For each of us, we need to dare to believe that we have it within us to take our organizations or ourselves as leaders to the next level; to do what we don’t really know how to do but know we must do. When the vision is clear, and the steps laid out, others will want to be part of this effort that is bigger than any one person but allows each of us to contribute something that produces a valuable outcome that outlives our effort. Dare to set a BIG goal this year, not just a SMART one. Craft the vision so that others will be motivated to step in and make it happen.

Here are some of the results of daring to think BIG!! Thank you to all who helped make this happen.

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