Momentum Podcast: 283

The Goal

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

The Goal' is one of the most important books with regard to building team. There is not a better book on the theory of constraints. 

In fact, it's one of the first books I recommend to clients when we start working together. Businesses change once their founders read this book.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world-makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo. We are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real.

We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.

The goal. Recently, I was asked, "What are the most important books for entrepreneurs to read when they're building and scaling a team?" And I've read thousands of business books. In fact, so many of them are just a rehash of somebody else's information, or a remix, or a mashup of other stuff that's out there and there is so little really good original information that is shared these days. And for me, I go back to books or I choose books that have the greatest impact with the simplest message and I want a book to accomplish one major thing for the clients that I recommend it to. And there is one book that I recommend consistently, across the board, to every single entrepreneur building a team that I've ever worked with.

The book is called The Goal, and it's by Eli Goldratt. It's an older book, but it is the absolute best book on the theory of constraints that I've ever found. And here's some caveats. I'm going to explain it to you the same way I explain it to all of my clients, because when somebody gets into one of our high -level masterminds, one of the first things I ask them to do is to buy a copy of The Goal and read it. Because it explains the theory of constraints better than anything out there.

Now, here's the challenge. The first 60 or 70 pages are a little tough to get through. If you're listening to the recordings, it's the first few recordings. It feels like a book that you don't want to read. It's like, "Huh, I don't really know why I'm into this, why I want to read this," and you have to push through those first 60 or 70 pages, but if you're willing to, the book will turn a corner, and it will become one of the most important books you've ever read.

Let me share with you my experience with The Goal. Years ago, I was working with an incredible consultant, Mason Ludlow, and Mason is just a unique person in my entire business history. He has been a consultant for a lot of his life. He helped open Office Depot in China. He's helped scale multimillion dollar, not multimillion, he's scaled $100 million companies over and over again. He's worked with billion dollar corporations.

At one point, he was coaching me, my wife, and John Walton from the Walton family. No joke. He was coaching the main guy who is one of the heirs of Sam Walton at Walmart, so Mason Ludlow is one of those just business visionary geniuses that has contributed so much to my life. And we were probably working together two or three weeks before he came into my office, and he said, "Alex, I need you to do something for me." I said, "Okay, Mason," it's like, "I need you to read this book," and he handed it to me.

The Goal is like the size of a small phone book, and the cover it looks like it was made 100 years ago. It's like a direct response, kind of funny looking cover and I remember thinking like, "Do I really want to read this?" And then I started trying to struggle through the first couple of chapters and it was so slow and so boring and I came back and I'm like, "Mason, do I have to?" And he looked me straight in the face and he said, "Alex, if you want us to keep working together, you do." And I said, "Are you serious? Like, you stopped working with me if I don't read this book?" And he said, "Yeah, absolutely. If you don't want to read about the theory of constraints and we can't have this discussion, this is the fastest way I know to teach it to you. And if you're not willing to read it then we're going to have a really hard time working together."

And I remember, kind of feeling like I got a little like stood up straight and I thought, "Okay, well then I'm going to read it." I went home that weekend and I plowed in and I read the whole thing in a weekend. And by the end of the weekend, I was blown away because I had read this story. And you know what? In some cases, it's a little corny and a little cheesy and a little cringy and the story's definitely got some historical context. It's weird and at one point it feels like it's an uncomfortable situation between a man and a woman and work and you don't really know what turn the story's going to take, but then when you finish it, and I know, I'm not doing a great job of selling it here, but let me tell you why this is such a good book, because when you finish it, when you're done with it, you start looking around your business and you see all the constraints and this book just does such a masterful job of explaining the theory of constraints in so many different ways.

In the story, in the story within the story of a cub scout troop that goes hiking where the slowest cub scout is put in the front of the group and because he's in the front of the group because he's always the slowest he always holds up the entire group. So you have to find that slowest part of your business, where is that next constraint going to come from first?

When you read the book, it just reveals to you the theory of constraints in a way that you don't have to actually apply it. You just start seeing it. That's why it's so genius. And the goal is in its 20th or 30th anniversary edition, it's sold, I don't know how many millions of copies, but I think I've seen a cover that says over 6 million copies sold. That's a crazy impressive number for a book that really doesn't get promoted anymore.

The way it gets promoted is person-to-person like I'm doing with you right now. And I can tell you that every team member that has read this book, every client that has ever read this book comes back to me and says, "Alex, I don't know how I worked in a company without knowing that stuff." or "I can't believe I was trying to run my business without understanding constraints," or "I read The Goal. I came back to my office and I saw all these opportunities to create crazy momentum and change process and make things happen faster and get things out of the way. It's insane," it really is. And the reason I'm recommending it to you and dedicating an entire podcast to one book, is that here's what will happen if you read The Goal, regardless of where you are in business right now, it will give you a context and a framework to look at your company and see what is holding you back.

It will reveal to you, through the story in The Goal, what is in the way in your organization? What is the biggest stumbling blocks? Where are the constraints? What adjustments can you make to create massive momentum right now? And if you're willing to put time in and read The Goal, and apply it to your business, you will almost immediately start clearing constraint out of the way. Because here's the reality about business. There're two ways to create forward momentum. You can do everything it takes to push a company forward so you can do the marketing and the sales and everything else and all the things that it takes to go forward, or you can look at all the processes and systems in the business and pull out all the constraint. I like doing both. See, when I'm coaching a client and we do everything we can to propel that company forward, and we also do everything we can to drive constraint out of the business, drop the boat anchors, remove operational drag and create momentum naturally because here's the fact, businesses are just like physics. Any other type of physics.

If you're in a boat, and you have the engines at full blast, and you're carrying a thousand pound anchor, you're not going to go very fast, but if you're in a boat and you have the engines on full blast and you drop the thousand pound anchor, you're going to take off. Well, in most businesses today, I want you to know something. You are carrying around a thousand pound anchor called constraints. You're not seeing them ahead of time. You're not forecasting them. You're not anticipating your constraints. If you don't have a strategic plan, you don't even know where they're coming from, but when you read The Goal and start to see the constraints in your business, you will start eliminating them before they happen. You will start removing them right now. You'll pitch the thousand pound anchor overboard and you will create massive forward momentum like you may never have ever felt. And one of the reasons I love this book so much is that when I recommend it to a business owner, almost immediately their business explodes, starts growing, and they have to come back to us for help with growing and scaling.

So here's my recommendation to you. Go by the book The Goal right now, either get the written book, which is fun to read or get the audiobook. It was recorded a while ago. It actually has different voices and sound effects, so it's like an old-timey radio show. It's actually pretty fun to listen to. I've read it and listened to it several times and either way you're going to get massive benefits out of it, but if you're ready to grow your business, remove constraints, see Your company in an entirely new way, this is the book to read right now, and here's what I want you to do. If you read The Goal and you start seeing constraints in your business and you remove them and your business starts growing, call us, because once you start removing the constraints in your business, if you put a strategic plan in place, everything will change and you can grow and scale your business, your revenues, your profitability, and the impact you have faster than you ever thought possible.

Go buy a copy of The Goal and then let me know what you think. And if you're ready to start growing your business fast. If you're ready to move in that direction right now, and if you're ready to stop waiting to grow a world-class team, go to, answer a few questions for us. We'll give you an opportunity to sign up for a call with our team and I can't wait to help you create momentum right now,

Thank You For Listening!

I am truly grateful that you have chosen to spend your time listening to me and my podcast.

Please feel free to reach out if you have a question or feedback via our Contact Us page.

Please leave me a review on iTunes and share my podcast with your friends and family.

With gratitude,


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