There was, however, one significant difference that I could tell – those organizations that are Mission-driven versus those that aren’t.
Now I’m sure all of these companies have a Mission (or Vision or Purpose)…but that doesn’t mean that the organization lives and breathes it and that it's a part of everything they do.
I’ll admit right now that I’m completely biased. I came from an organization that had a very strong sense of purpose. But over the course of 18 years, we changed our company Mission several times and I saw the power of strong Missions and the missed opportunities with weaker ones.
Let me use an example that we can all relate to – we’re heading into the NFL Division Championships this weekend. No doubt, each of these teams had as their Mission at the beginning of the season: Win the Super Bowl.
It’s clear…4 words…could be sent out on 1 Tweet!
It completes the sentence “We exist to ______”
It gives meaning to every single person in every single thing that they do.
If you have a company Mission, could you say yours hits the mark on all of these?
If not (or if you don’t have one), first understand the power a strong Mission has in creating a strong company. When people find meaning in their work, they also feel a sense of ownership. Their work means something to them personally. When people take ownership of the work, they are more committed to it. That translates into better performance on all dimensions.
O.K. let’s just say that you do have a clear, specific, and inspiring Mission of 140 characters or less. Then I have two follow up questions for you:
- How often are you talking about it?
- How often are you living it?
The quote about Ray Kroc says that he never stopped talking about it…never. And don’t expect the company walls with the Mission statement painted on there to do the communicating for you!
Speaking of painted walls…I’ll end this post with how one company took their Mission statement one step further so that their employees "owned it".
The company executives were giving me a tour of their facility. You could tell by the atmosphere and the people that this was definitely an organization that worked with strong purpose. And this tone came from the top as the two company executives talked about their Mission with a ton of enthusiasm.
Anyway, as we were doing the tour, they mentioned that we were going to the lunch room…and I could read their body language that they very were excited to show me the lunch room…strange right? Right!...
…Until I stepped foot in there.
Painted on the walls of the lunch room were quotes from company employees of what it would look like once their Mission was achieved. Some of them had to do with the customer (i.e. “Our customers are using the most advanced technology to diagnose and treat.”), some had to do with the company (i.e. “We're on a billboard in Times Square.”), some were personal (“We move our HQ by the intracoastal so I can boat to work.”). Almost half of the statements they had actually accomplished. I knew this because there was a big red “ACHIEVED” stamp next to them. It was awesome.
If you’re not running your own business…that’s o.k…you can create a Mission Statement for your team, your territory, your department. The reason to do it and the principles of doing it still apply.
Happy 2014 to you and here’s to a year of purpose that inspires us all!
If you need some ideas to get you going http://www.missionstatements.com is a good start…but definitely not the end...
...that's up to you!