You Are Thinking Too Small

How big are your dreams? Do you think we ever unknowingly limit ourselves regarding our own potential, or the heights we can reach? When considering that new product, strategy or external launch, do we borderline on the “big hairy audacious goals” proposed byJames Collins and Jerry Porras or settle for the “11 percent year-over-year increase” type of thinking?

It’s not often that I get my mind truly blown, but it happened recently. You wouldn’t know it from the make, model or mileage of what I have sitting in the parking lot, but I’m sort of a closet car guy. My perspective was recently redefined courtesy of a generous client who took a colleague and I for a spin in his new wheels. Those new wheels were propelled not by a roaring, supercharged engine, but by two smaller, much more efficient electric motors that sit on top of the front and rear chassis of the car. It’s a car that silently and effortlessly launches passengers from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds – faster than your neighbor’s Corvette or the newest Porsche on the lot. (And that’s not even the top model.)

Yes, I’m talking about a Tesla – the 100 percent electric car seeking to change the face of the auto industry. I’m not sure if that’s Tesla’s BHAG, but it might just as well be. (Side note: Watch this Tesla S coolly wipe a Dodge Viper SRT-10 off the track in the quarter-mile race. You’re welcome.)

An actual Tesla key
An actual Tesla key

The innovations and efficiencies of this automaker seem to know no bounds. A Tesla boasts a 17-inch touchscreen on the center dash that pretty much controls the car (think drag and drop to open the sunroof). The door handles retract into the body of the car until the car’s key – a Hot Wheels-type replica of the actual car – is in close enough proximity to automatically extend. It would take multiple blog posts to cover the soon-to-be released auto-steering feature and to brainstorm ideas for what to put in the “fronk” (remember the car has no engine) – all wrapped up in a six-figure package that is rated five stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

But how did we get here? Incredible amounts of science, technology and innovation, yes; but weren’t there also initial “out-of-the-box” or BHAG-types of ideas and goals that drove Tesla’s founders to this place? These guys weren’t simply thinking of how to design a prettier, faster car; they channeled a revolutionary concept and went after it. Feasible for you and me? Answer that question the way you always have, and you’ll continue to get the same result. Elevate your dreams and goals to levels not yet considered. and you might just reach them.