The Importance of Creating a Mission Statement

Yesterday I was working with a wonderful team, to develop their team mission statement. Firstly let me again say how amazing our NHS teams are, it was a pleasure working with them.

Now I am not going to talk about team mission statements (if you want to explore creating a team mission statement, you can book me to come in and work with your team). I am going to concentrate on developing personal mission statements.

I first wrote mine about 2 years ago now, and since then it has adapted as I have grown and shifted my viewpoint. If anything it has simplified. The simpler it is, the easier it is to remember it, and to make it operational.

The first thing to do is to consider what your core values are, and then consider how you use those values in your life. It is important to recognise when you have lived up to those values, what you were doing and how that made you feel. Also recognise when you have not lived up to those values, what you were doing and how that made you feel.

Once you have a couple of operational values (values that you live with everyday, not ones that you would like to have, or think you should have) then it is time to consider how you want to be remembered by your loved ones, friends and colleagues. This forms your version of success.

So now you have what you are going to do, and how you are going to measure it. The do is living within your core values. The measure is how you will be remembered, so does living within your values create that version of success.

It is also important to consider what will get in the way of you succeeding in your mission. What often gets in the way of us living up to our core values is the assumptions we make about the world around us. A useful way of exploring these emotions is to consider what we hold to be true. Now these are derived from folk stories that are passed down to us through family, school, work, media, friends etc. Now some of these truths might be true, however most are not, and can be unhelpful. For instance a common truth might be ‘what goes around comes around’. Spend some time considering what these assumptions are in you life and how they could impact you living up to your values. You truths might be assumptions you make about different people or situations.

Now you have nearly a complete mission statement:

  • You have what you are going to do
  • How you are going to measure this
  • What might get in the way
  • What you will do to recognise when stuff gets in the way
  • What you will do to make it right.

Once you have your mission statement, write it out neat, and share it with a few trusted people. Ask them if this is rings true for them. Does this mission statement represent you. This is important as a mission statement should represent you at your best, not a better version of you. This is not about changing, this statement is about maintaining you as near to your best as possible most of the time. If your statement becomes aspirational you run the risk of chasing behaviours that just are not you, and you will come across as inauthentic, you will become disheartened and abandon your mission statement very quickly.

It is also important to remember that your mission statement does not have to remain fixed as you grow to understand yourself and the world around you better, you will be able to adjust your statement to fit your view of the world and yourself. Overtime you will grow and therefore so should your mission statement.

So this exercise it will not make you better, it will however let you at your best be seen by more people more often.

If you want to spend some time perfecting you mission statement, get in touch, we can either do this online or face to face. You will not regret it, you will be far more satisfied with your life.

Published by Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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