The Chase: Organizations (or people) without a clearly defined mission have no idea what their purpose is, or why they exist, and therefore are not as likely to attain the success they desire.
Most companies, let alone people, don’t have a mission statement. This may seem like human resources or marketing fluff, something that we need to have in order to fit in or to have a good brand. But that is far from the truth. A mission statement is the reason you exist. Put another way, it is your purpose.
According to Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Therefore, if you’re a business, an organization, individual with goals, a sports team, a support group, whatever – and you don’t have a clear reason or understanding why you exist – consider that your first nail in the coffin of your desired success.
We recently worked with an organization for a reason aside from developing a mission statement. However, the reality was that we could not complete, let alone start the work we needed, until we first understood why the organization existed. Unfortunately, there was no mission, so we had to create it. Because why you exist will form so many other areas of your business; how (and who) you hire, compensation, job descriptions, evaluations, budgeting, business plans, goals and objectives, policies and so on. It is truly incredible to understand how this one thing can affect your entire business or life trajectory.
This may seem like a simple thing to clarify and ‘get out of the way’ in order to build your company or achieve your goals. It may even seem obvious to you and all the people you work. That is until you start to talk about it and everyone begins to give their perspective. You see, there is fact, then there is perception. If people don’t know why the organization exists (its purpose) then they will create reasons why. And frankly, it may not be even close to the real reason it exists. This takes focused time with the ability to rationally discuss what everyone in the organization (or thinking through if you’re an individual) is trying to accomplish. It may even require a third party to help disseminate and aggregate the information so that the organization or individual can agree or understand what the mission is (NOTE: The third party is not responsible to write the mission, that is the responsibility of the organization or individual).
So, before you dismiss The Power of Purpose, sit down and take the time to truly think about it. Go through your mind’s eye and spend minutes if not hours pondering the purpose of your organization, and while you’re at it, your life. You’d be surprised, especially if you are a small business owner, how your own personal purpose will unfold into your business purpose.
The Net: Knowing your purpose (why you exist) will help clarify the critical areas of your business (or life) that will help you more likely attain the success you want. Without it, you may never attain it.
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