Having a big hairy audacious goal.

Two books I've been gleefully immersed in over the winter—Shivering Inside: A Novel on the Life of John Winston Lennon, Volume Two by Jude Kessler, and Keith Richards: The Biography by Victor Bockris—have hit home for me the importance of having a boldly ambitious dream.

Both Lennon and Richards, as founding fathers and organizational movers of their respective bands, had an impossible goal that they passed onto their band mates.

The mission of Lennon and The Beatles, while still playing dank cellar clubs in Liverpool, was to make it to the "toppermost of the poppermost" and be "bigger than Elvis." The mission of Richards and the Rolling Stones was to single-handedly resurrect rock & roll—which had suffered a quick death several years earlier with the loss of rock's biggest stars. (In Keith's words: "I had to keep the dream alive.")

Gutsy goals for guys barely out of their teens.

But having an outrageous dream is characteristic of great teams and organizations everywhere. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, in their management classic Built to Last, call it the "big hairy audacious goal."

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