Identify The Wildly Important Goals (WIGs)

June 28, 2019 Scott Miller


Does everyone know the team’s top two or three priorities (WIGs) and how they will align their efforts to achieve them?
Wildly Important Goals (or WIGs) are the few, highly important goals that must be achieved or no other goal matters. Despite their critical importance, WIGs can be neglected because of the temptation to focus on the urgencies of the day. To identify the WIGs for your team ask, “If every other area of our operation remained at its current level of performance, what is the one area where change would have the greatest impact?” Then share them with your team for input and consensus. 
To increase the likelihood of achieving your WIGs: 
  • Collaborate. Work with key stakeholders to identify and then debate whether your WIGs are worthy of the stature. Ask, “When executed, do these WIGs provide return that justifies displacing other goals?” Remember, every goal can’t be wildly important. 
  • Choose. Select the initiatives you won’t be working on. Share with your team what you’re saying no to so they value what you’re saying yes to.
  • Craft. Construct your goals in clear, actionable language. The 4 Disciplines of Execution® teaches a simple formula “From X to Y by When.” For example, We will move client retention from 84 to 91 percent by December 31.
  • Communicate. Share your goals with enough clarity that all involved can evangelize for them with the same gravitas and understanding you do.
  • Track. Keep a record of the progress you make toward your goals. Use a visually compelling scoreboard so anyone can tell at a glance if you’re winning or losing against the goal.
  • Delegate. Ensure that every team member involved with executing the goal understands their contribution, and what new and perhaps different behaviors they need to engage in. Be mindful of what you need to do differently as well.
  • Meet. Plan and lead recurring meetings to check on the status of the goal and scoreboard, report wins and misses, and make further commitments to accomplish the WIG.
  • Celebrate. Identify successes when the WIG is achieved. Then add the next one to the list.


  • With your team, determine which two to three priorities must be achieved, otherwise nothing else you do will matter.
  • Determine a starting line, finish line, and deadline for each WIG: “From X to Y by When.”
  • Align the WIGs with your organization’s vision, mission, and strategy.
  • Follow the sage advice of business author Jim Collins and put as much focus on your “not-to-do” list as you put on your “to-do” list.

For more on this tip, watch this short clip from Scott Miler, author of Management Mess to Leadership Success.


Go from a management mess to a leadership success. Join Scott Miller for a live webcast and learn more about the 30 challenges that all leaders face. 

About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a twenty-three-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership. Scott hosts multiple podcasts including FranklinCovey On Leadership and Great Life, Great Career. Additionally, Scott is a co-author of The Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Everyone Deserves A Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices For Leading A Team. He is also the author of the multiweek Amazon #1 New Release, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow. Scott writes a weekly leadership column for and is a frequent contributor to Thrive Global. Previously, Scott worked for the Disney Development Company and grew up in Central Florida. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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