You Have To Do Better To Get Better!
I am as encouraged as the next person to sit and listen to a motivational speaker…well a good one that is. What I enjoy the most is the insight which usually ignites a spark within me to “get better”. This motivational inspiration isn’t what drives my visions or my goals for me, my family, or my team. It is just what it is, a spark. As I dove enthusiastically into Chapter 17 “A Mission Statement”, I had a quick halting of the mind, body, and soul. Write a mission statement? Really? I would much rather go to the dentist before I want to sit down and write a mission statement, let alone a personal mission statement. But I have reached that point in my journey…much has been given, much is now required.
So I set out into the week, often times re-reading Chapter 17 in hopes of finding something to help me at least write one single word…nothing, I’m telling you this was like pulling teeth, myself! As I went through the week, I had another out of my comfort zone opportunities…I spoke with a complete stranger. This time it took me much farther outside than I had initially anticipated because we spoke for two very long hours. As I listened to her sharing her stories of the past, and how her past has directed her into her new life; she still found she was living in both her past and her now life. While I was most interested to hear her story, I was quickly discouraged by the overall theme of the stories…her past was far greater than her vision. In a sense, she was just breathing…while I will admit I only had a two hour conversation with her; but the feeling she left me with was one of old…not one of new and growing.
That’s when I got to thinking…can I write a mission statement which truly coveys my guiding principles which have been outlined by my past; yet shows a growing pattern which can only be gained through progress-growth-and-change? Only if you think to write it in a new way, not the motivational speaker way…from a strategic, transparent viewpoint which will allow you as a leader to “GET BETTER”.
What are your guiding principles? Do you or your family have personal/family mission statements? Have you ever considered the value a personal/family mission statement would make on your life as a leader? I had to stop and ask myself about my own mission statement…then I tried to write one. It’s not easy; because these are words and action items I must live up to on a daily basis. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is my mission statement, so for now I will dispel the idea of doing what many leaders choose to do: read a bunch of mission statements and copy the lines and parts they feel is powerful enough to do the trick.
In fact, I would venture to guess not a lot of us know what our company’s mission statement is…word-for-word let’s say. I would also guess many of us don’t have personal, family or team missions either. As my journey continues my mind is more open to the understanding and the collaboration required developing these statements. We will in fact “GET BETTER” and provide those around us with the best we have to offer on a daily basis, thus expanding our reach and walking further up a mountain with others behind us. Let’s try this for the week: STOP the Stinkin’ Thinkin’. Instead of following the usual template of creating a vision statement, then the mission statement, and so on; let’s take a new approach to the age old questions: What do I stand for and why am I here?
1. Find an opportunity or a challenge that exists in your life and simplify the situation into a clear and identifiable action item
2. Develop an approach to clearing the path for this situation or challenge
3. Outline the steps or approaches you will use to solve or change the situation
4. Write down what the change will mean in the end…now let those will be your guiding principles. Like any mission statement, guiding principle, or goals these should be revisited and updated regularly. Then watch yourself grow.
While my mission statement/guiding principles may not be complete next week, they surely will by the end of this journey.