Have you ever been asked, “What’s your life’s purpose?” And if you have, did your mind quickly draw a complete blank? Isn’t that the all time unanswered question of life? Why do any of us exist? What is the meaning of life? What is your mission?
Let me bring you back to something more tangible. When I ask “Why do you exist?”, I am referring to your business, your department, your project or even your event. Why is it in existence? What value does it bring to someone?
In the blog 4 Elements You Need For An Inspiring Company Mission Statement , by Mary Lister, you’ll find numerous ideas and examples for Mission statements that are especially memorable. Mary outlines elements for a Mission statement that fits in nicely with The One Page Business Plan® (a tool I use exclusively with my clients):
In Seth Godin’s blog, he explains:
“Its so easy to string together a bunch of platitudes and call them a mission statement. But what happens if you actually have a specific mission, a culture in id, a manifesto for your actions?
The essential choice is this: you have to describe (and live) the difficult choices. You have to figure out who you will disappoint or offend. Most of all, you have to be clear about what’s important and what you won’t or can’t do.”
What I love about both of these proposals is that they require you to spend some time actually thinking about your purpose, your value and your impact. If you can hit on all three of those in your Mission statement, it will also hit the memorable button as well.
Take these examples:
- Airbnb: Belong Anywhere
- Square: Make Commerce Easy
- Tedx: Spread Ideas
Now these are extremely short, and most of us can’t quite get it down to 2-3 words without a lot of effort, but they speak volumes.
Of course, in practice with The One Page Business Plan®, there is also a template for the Mission statement and you definitely need a Mission statement for your department or project. Your Mission answers the questions:
Why does this department or project exist?
Who will you (it) serve and what will you (it) do for them?
Other examples of Mission Statements can be found HERE.
Play with the template a little and work on a draft or two. This takes some time to think, reflect and let your creative juices flow. Give that gift to yourself.
Our next post will address measurements. How do you know when you’ve completed an objective? How do you measure success?
If you don’t want to wait and want to get started immediately in your planning then by all means take the next steps right away by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about private planning sessions or sessions for your team. Otherwise, more instructive posts are coming!