Sunday, June 17, 2018

Self-Leadership #15 The Power of Mission Statement

What is your organization or business or group about? Why is your product or service worth buying? Who cares about your organization, and why? What do your group believe in? What's indispensable? Where are your team going?

To answer these kinds of core questions, you need to look at your mission. A mission is your organization's reason to exit. It's who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It's what makes you unique. It's why you've all agreed to work together in a common cause. Without a mission, you have no basis upon which to formulate your vision. “A mission statement is not something you write overnight,” write Stephen R. Covey, “but fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life [or organization, business or group]”

All of your organization's practices and decisions should correspond to the mission. If a proposed tactic or strategy (or in the case of Bible Study group, which is in my mind now, if the activity and teaching) is not in keeping with the mission, you don't do it – period. The mission is the standard against which everyone's actions are or should be measured. Therefore, the mission must be clearly stated and that everyone in the organization must be prepared and willing to live by the mission. Ryuho Okawa observed, “The bigger your mission becomes, the greater inspiration you will be given." Here are some examples of mission-statement from FES Malaysia, a non-profit Christian organization that I work in; DUG DOWN DEEP, my weekly Bible Study group; and Richard Angelus' Thought, my blog:

FES Malaysia
Changing Students for Life that they will impact society, church, family, and campuses

To read and study the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation – and to apply the truths in our lives
Richard Angelus' Thought
To inspired readers to THINK BIG, START SMALL, and GO DEEP

Sometimes the mission can be threatening to a leader. Total commitment to the mission means that there are real limits on the leader's authority. If the leader issues orders or planned a project that bypasses or conflicted with the mission, the members of the organization or group are obligated to protect the mission against the leader (of course, this is easier said than done…).

Don't underestimate the power of mission statement. Mahatma Gandhi eloquently puts it this way: "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of human history." So, what is your mission?

Here are three (3) ways to use your mission:

#1 Create a Shared Vision: Good leaders share the vision-creating task to broaden the base of ownership, to generate commitment, and to reduce the level of threat inherent in the planned change.

#2 Link Goals to Purpose: In a healthy organization, all key decisions are put through the screen of the mission. If a proposed goal doesn't support the mission, change course.

#3 Align Your Values: The leader's challenge is to bring stated and practiced values into alignment. The failure to do so leads to organizational cynicism “We say it, but we sure don't do it!” and undercuts the leader's moral authority and credibility.

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