Lessons From Setting 101 Life Goals


The article 4 Habits of Smart Companies with Productive Employees has been circulating through the Signature Recruiting office. While not exactly summer beach reading, the article is perfect to reflect on as we enter the last half of the year.

The article was written by Brian Scudamore, a Canadian entrepreneur who has established several small home-service companies, including the well-known 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. In the article, Scudamore shares four ways that companies can foster a sense of trust and safety among employees. That psychological safety among employees creates a supportive environment that leads to individual well-being and better job performance. Scudamore writes:

“Put simply, for teams to do great work, members need to feel comfortable with speaking up and feel respected by their colleagues.”

Invite All Staff To Share Their Top 101 Life Goals

Scudamore developed a list of 101 life goals about a decade ago and found the experience to be life-changing. He has since widely promoted the idea of brainstorming a personal list of the top 101 life goals as a good business practice that contributes to employee productivity.

Scudamore’s list of big goals included:

  • Present to an audience larger than 20,000
  • Learn to downhill mountain bike with my daughter
  • Build a school for entrepreneurship
  • Tour the inside of FedEx’s largest hub
  • Teach a business class in French at a Quebec University

(To find out more about Scudamore’s list, read: Junk-Tycoon Treasures His Bucket-List Hug With Oprah.)

Scudamore’s personal understanding of how the exercise instills confidence and appreciation for life led him to implement an organizational version of the exercise into his company culture.

In fact, all of his 400 employees in Vancouver and Toronto are encouraged to write and share their 101 life goals. Scudamore believes that the openness of sharing one’s goals and the support from colleagues builds a solid foundation for psychological safety important to productive teams.

Once you understand and commit to working towards your 101 life goals, how can you transfer the exercise to your office? Scudamore offered these ideas to ensure that attention and time are given to the life goals work through the company:

  • Completed Goal Wall: Designate a public space within your office for employees to record and post the items completed on their 101 Life Goals list
  • Life Goal Ambassador: Assign a staff member with the responsibility of supporting individuals and staff as a whole. It’s too easy for this work to fall to the bottom of the priority list or employees become unmotivated towards ambitious and long-term goals.

Scudamore also recommends list three other strategies for encouraging employee productivity:


Connect as a team once a day and leave space for people to share challenges

Hang out with each other at least once a week (Think Friday happy hour or Monday morning juice breaks)

Have managers hold 1:1, 30-minute meetings with team members once a week




How does your company encourage productivity among employees? Tell us your ideas plus any items on your 101 Life Goals list.