As I have been reading and researching organizational behavior of late…
I have found interest in the development of corporational mission statements.
Mission statements, which you’ve probably heard of, but may not truly know, are a formal summary of the aims and values of a company and organization.
But, I think there is a huge population that is missing the boat on this exercise…
Mission statements can almost be defined as a roadmap to communicate to internal and external parties what the company is all about.
Often times, I hear people talk about them in terms of an elevator pitch…A short, clear statement that could be communicated quickly to an unfamiliar party in the span of a short elevator ride.
Let’s look at Tesla’s Mission Statement as example:
“to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”
That is clear, short, and differentiated.
But as I thought about how helpful this exercise is for corporations and organizations…
I couldn’t help but wonder why we as individuals don’t undertake the exercise of creating a personal mission statement and curating it over time as we as humans change and evolve?
And more directly, why haven’t I created a mission statement for myself?
Don’t get me wrong, if I asked you what your values are or what your mission to accomplish is…
I am sure you could go on in details that would probably lose my attention…
But I am sure you would hit on the key points in a manner that you understand.
But I think the value in this exercise is gaining clarity of direction and really distilling your mission down to a clear objective.
If you can easily describe your vision to someone else, I would argue you know where you want to go and how to get there. And with that work complete, the road to success is made “easier”.
Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People says that personal mission statements become the “criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.”
So, I am starting the work to develop my own mission statement and thus cannot share a finished product with you.
But what I can share is my values and how I am thinking of combining them into a working statement…
1-My family (becoming a better husband and father to my two children)
2- My health
3- Living for me and not for others’ expectations (authenticity)
4- I am not interested in accumulating financial wealth nor climbing a perceived corporate ladder
5- However, I am interested in helping companies whose mission align with mine and whose products help people truly improve their lives
6- And I value my time and would like to create opportunities to grow and develop as a human through arts, sport, and relationships
So if you are reading this, I challenge you right now to start thinking about your values and to start building the foundation of your personal mission statement.
You can start by spending quiet time reflecting and asking yourself questions like:
- what’s really important to me in life?
- What do I want my legacy to be?
- What makes me unique?
Answer these questions, and you’re well on your way to developing your personal mission statement…
And becoming a more effective human, able to create out of this life what you want vs. accepting only what it shows you.
Let me know if you create a mission statement and are willing to share.
Changing the world starts with us at home today.