How to Set Your Own Wildly Important Goal and Why
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals would probably become my latest favorite book for now since I borrow it from Perpustakaan Raja Tun Uda. Combine it with my latest books which are The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, and Mastery, my startup execution for resitless app had never been this fast. It’s like I know what am I doing, what should I do and I play to win not to survive. The secret is you must have your own wildly important goals (WIGs) with you all the time.
I cannot describe, the exact feelings but it feels different from starting up my blog and other failed business. There is a huge probability that you wouldn’t know this feeling. But at least let me try to describe it to you how did WIGs help me boost my execution.
Thefirst one is,
It increases my productivity and doubles up my execution.
The first thing the authors taught me is to generate my own wildly important goals. And the trick is to generate it as much as you can while brainstorming with your team or alone in your room (like me). After the brainstorming session, you should pick one or two at most from all your wildly important goals lists.
“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”
― Sylvia Plath
The reason is if you have a lot of goals. You will dissipate your energy towards all your goals evenly. Then, the results of your execution will be below average or mediocrity because the energy you put into all the wildly important goals is too small to bring into effect. Also, your chosen WIGs should be specific and long term goals that going to help you win the game you play at. So that you can give out your undivided attention to this goal.
In addition, your WIGs is also called lag measure. And according to the authors of 4dx, lag measure are tracking measurement of the WIGs and when you get the lag measure you cannot change it. For example, revenues, profits, market shares or customer satisfaction. Frankly speaking, you WIGs or lag measure is the one you spend most of your time praying over.
Other than that, the lag measure also means when you received them, the performance that drives them is already in the past. Which means by the time you a get a lag measure there nothing you can do to fix it. It’s history.
However, there is one great thing if you have chosen your lag measure as your most important WIGs and it is because your vision, your destination is going to be crystal clear than ever before. You will know where you are going and what can you do to arrive at the destination. Just like Yogi Berra said,“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
The formula for generating your WIGs is starting your goals with a verb, make it short, focus on what not how and follow a simple formula which is “from x to y by when“. For example, my WIG for my receiptless app (my current startup) is to grow the number of early adopters sign up from 0 to 500 by 31 December 2017.
Focus on the Lead measure, not lag measure.
“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.”
― Harvey MacKayGeneral H. Norman Schwarzkopf
On the other hand, like I said before, the lag measure is history and this is why we should focus on the working on the lead measure. But what is a lead measure? According to the authors of The 4 Disciplines of Execution, the lead measure is the measure of most high impact things your team must do to reach your goal. Also, the lead measure is the new behavior that will drive success the lag measure. Thus, by focusing on lead you can change the lag.
A good lead measure has two simple characteristics:
- It is predictive of achieving the goal.
- It can be influenced by you or the team member.
To illustrate it better, consider the simple goal of losing weight. The lag measure would be kilogram(KG) lost while lead measures are:
- The specific limit calories per day
- Specific minutes of exercise per day.
Both of this type of lead measure is predictive because by performing the lead measure you can predict the scale measurement next week (the lag measure). Also, these two lead measure is also influenceable by the person executing the lead measure because both of these new behaviors are within the person control.
My two lead measure for the Receiptless app are:
- Create PPC campaign RM5/day 20 times in a month.
- Split testing pop up box using 3 type of pipity pop up per week.
To sum up, I believe that two steps are essentially improving my productivity, execution and my strategy to exit my startup in no time. The 4 Disciplines of Execution is an important book because it taught me whether I was winning the game or not. It has helped me a lot through starting up. I really hope I had read this book much sooner. I recommend it to all of you guys out there.
“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it”
Now, I want you to have a go and create your own WIGs. Then share it with me in the comment below. I love to read yours since I already share mine.