TGIS is an acronym for “The Goal is Soul” which is a phrase I first heard Bono use in concert sometime in the early 2000’s. It’s a phrase I’ve heard him use many times since, but when I first heard it (he used it as an extra lyric at the end of BEAUTIFUL DAY) it struck a chord.
[You can see Bono using this phrase in this video at the 3:45 mark]
For a long time, I have been (obsessively?) interested in the subject of building great, sustainable, wildly successful companies.
What does it take to start, build and sustain a great brand/business/company?
What sets the great one’s apart from the pack?
I’ve read every book, buried myself in the topic at business school, observed it, and have tried to live it. I’ve heard all the explanations — from the academic to the philosophical. I had my own half-baked theories, but nothing really resonated with me until I heard Bono’s ad-libed lyric.
It struck me. The Goal is Soul. Passion, vision, BHAG’s, leadership, innovation, adaptability….these are all things that have been credited with defining the best companies. And those are all fine reasons. Just not enough. To me, the best companies have something that is bigger than all those things. They have SOUL.
What does that mean exactly. I am not totally sure. I have thought a lot about it to date and I may spend the rest of my life trying to figure it out. Maybe I never will. But I am confident that the one’s that achieve the highest level of business success are the ones with Soul. Business models may change, markets shift, technologies come and go…but one’s Soul is constant. It’s something you can’t shake even if you want to. It’s “soft”, it’s “fuzzy”, it’s intangible….but, in my humble opinion, it’s more important than anything else.
So, I’ll continue to explore this concept on this blog & elsewhere. It’s fascinating to me and probably always will be.