I have had several opportunities to be involved in the development of Vision and Mission Statements in different organizations I was involved over the years.
Some of those were very good experiences that made us think what we were about and express it in a way it could be used as a reference by members of that group for years to come. In some other situations the result was confusing and meaningless.
So, when I was writing this I decided to look for some good and bad examples of Mission Statements:
Starting with a bad one (this is real):
“To be a bank that doesn’t think like a bank. A bank that knows that yesterday is not today… and that today becomes yesterday tomorrow”
Now a better one (since I used Google for my “research”, I will give them credit and use theirs as my positive example):
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
Some time ago I decided I needed a Mission Statement for myself.
After a few iterations I came up with a version that summarizes it well:
“To Know God and Glorify Him, in a Contagious Way”
It is interesting how it can work:
Recently I was driving and listening to a Christian Radio, and each pastor that spoke had some interesting characteristics: either an accent, or something they repeated frequently, or the voice intonation (unfortunately facial expressions and gestures were difficult to observe).
So I started practicing imitations of their individual styles and it was quite fun.
When I got home I demonstrated one of them to Liz and she initially laughed, but immediately said I had ruined it for her. She was not going to be able to listen to that pastor again without thinking of my impersonation.
That made me reflect: if by me doing those impersonations, people will to not focus on the pastors’ messages, my attitude would be going against my mission.
Based on this conclusion, I decided to not do that (well, I still do one of them that is not too distracting).
Now I use the mission in different situations as a gage to decide whether I should do something or not.
For example, if I am tempted to spread some gossip or say something bad about someone and I remember my mission, I have to stop.
Since we are about to start a new year, how about developing your own personal Mission Statement?
You can even copy mine, if you want (or Google’s, but that may not match your style very well, unless you are into the gossip thing).