The Road to Absolute Perfection by Bill Valway
by Bill Valway
February 4th, 2015

Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Every success story starts somewhere, but it’s the planning and setting goals that allows us to progress.

As a member of Vistage International, I have access to many different outlets and resources that help me better my abilities to lead a rapidly growing team. Many of these resources prove extremely helpful, not just for business owners, but also for those trying to better themselves and/or their company. I’d like to share a resource with you that we at Absolute Perfection recently embraced with the start of the New Year: the Execution Roadmap.

Some of my biggest role models utilize this tool to “get their ducks in a row,” and it really helped our company put together a clear path to reaching our goals. This outline helped highlight Absolute Perfection’s core values, strategic anchors and, of course things like big, hairy, audacious goals—my personal favorite.

Creating a Pathway to Success

I used this outline in our quarterly company meeting. I believe everyone’s voice is an important attribute to the company and our brand. The creative and fresh ideas that come out of brainstorming with your entire team can be groundbreaking.

After completing this exercise, we were able to highlight what sets our company apart, what we stand for, and what we want to work on. Check out the results we came up with (and if this activity sounds like something you’d like to explore, download the PDF linked below):

Core Values

  • Excellence: Quality assurance in our business is personal. We are accountable to ourselves, colleagues and our clients.
  • Innovation: Intellectual curiosity is ever-present. We will find ways to be different. We will be thought leaders ahead of our industry curves in each division.
  • Empowerment: Decisions will be made at the lowest possible level. Divisions will operate as autonomously as possible.
  • Collaboration: Although each division is autonomous, we rely heavily on collaboration between them. This will always lead to success.
  • Passion: Each and every one of us will have a passion for our job or trade and most importantly the AP brand!

Strategic Anchors

  • We will only compete in the crafts and trades where we are broadly knowledgeable and see a path to be the best.
  • We will only retain stunning team members that thrive in an environment that provides them with personal freedom in exchange for personal responsibility: We are worthy of freedom.
  • We will track our performance in metrics that tell us how our clients feel we are doing, as well as how we are doing internally.

Big Hairy Audacious Goal

It’s important to set big goals. At our company, we never stop. The fact that we have set such big goals has allowed us to almost double our profits each year as you can see below, courtesy of Window Film magazine. So, our big, hairy, audacious goal for the next ten years is pretty big, hairy and audacious—but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

AP

“Our company will be operating at national in each of our divisions. The Absolute Perfection brand will be recognized by our clients and strategic partners / manufacturers as their go-to service provider in each of our semi-autonomous divisions, doing $50 Million in profitable revenue with minimal debit in ten years.”

Rocks, Sand, and Water

Someone once told me, “Start with your rocks.” If you’ve never heard of the rocks, sand and water analogy – it’s a really good model to keep in the back of your mind. Here, let me explain it.

Imagine you have a 12 oz glass mason jar sitting on a table. Next to the jar is a pile of golf ball sized rocks, a handful of sand and an 8 oz glass of water. If you add the sand and water first you won’t be able to fit all of the rocks in the jar; however, by simply changing the order to rocks, sand, and then water, you can fit everything in the jar with room to spare.

So, by focusing on the big, or rather more important things first, you are able get better traction in your business and ultimately accelerate the growth of your organization. The details (sand and water) are equally important. By making the decision to focus on the “rocks” first, you can avoid getting in the weeds of the details. If you do this right, you will have plenty of time to worry about the details later, believe me.

As St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Building Your Execution Roadmap

If you’ve taken away one thing from this blog, it should be the importance of planning and setting goals for yourself and your company. Download your very own Execution Roadmap created by Jim Alampi, founder of The Execution Maximizer, and check out Absolute Perfection’s Roadmap below for guidance. And remember; don’t be afraid of that big, hairy, audacious goal!

AP EM 1

AP EM 2

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