When I came out of a leadership course recently, all fired up with the
idea of creating a mission statement for my company, I called a meeting
and introduced the idea and got a clear message back - that message was:
'Don't!' I don't know about the US, but there was a cynical view shared by
everyone here in the UK that mission statements didn't work - and that
what we did we already did well - and that the proof of the pudding was in
Generally I think we do a great job. There are times when either I or my
company don't perform as well as I would like. If customers give us a
chance to put things right, we do so willingly. If they go off in a huff,
they go off in a huff. We all learn through the process.
I believe peronal goals/aims/objectives/mission statements - call them
what you like - are useful tools for self-focusing. That's all. I'd be
interested to hear what you see yours to be.
You mention Stephen Covey's universal statement described in his book
"Principle-Centered Leadership." as ' "To improve the economic well-being
and quality of life for all stakeholders"' and your modified version to be
' "I would like to make enough money from my labor (economic well-being)
to enjoy a secure and comfortable life in which my family and myself
(stakeholders) can thrive and grow individually and together (quality of
It's neat - fits, but is self-centred. Covey's sentence focuses on 'all'
stakeholders. There is nothing in yours to say you care about how you make
your money. You hint at your awareness of this, but also of a gut feeling
that something is missing.
Kent, in his reply to your message writes, "what is missing is some
indication of your distinctive contribution.", talking about "vision",
"mission" and "calling". I looked at this and wondered whether I could
match it up with a personal framework I use - that of integrating thought,
word and deed in a unified stance to serve my message. I could see vision
as being 'thought': the ideal I'm striving for, 'mission' as being the
words I use to describe that ideal and my wish to reach it, and then I get
onto 'calling' and I'm back to 'thought' again - but a deeper type of
thought - a better word might be 'soul'. For me, this is implicit in the
concept of 'integration'. And I'm missing the 'deed' bit ... I agree with
you ... what good is the statement without it translating into action?
These for me are the two areas I feel are missing ... apologies for the
long-winded message. It helped me to work this through .... (1) where is
the sense of your soul in your mission statement? (2) how does your
mission statement translate into action?
Forget Covey - trust your intuition. Follow your heart.
On my part, I am intrigued by the phrase "if you are reluctant to share
this information with others, for fear that you will be criticized for not
achieved much of it, or for fear that others will not find it important or
interesting, then you are close."
Kent - I feel I'm on the brink of a learning breakthrough here - help me
through it. Why do you say 'then you are close'?
The Conrad Voice Consultancy
Leon Conrad <100755.1675@CompuServe.COM>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>