You’re an owner of a private businesses. You’ve heard about mission statements,but you’ve either found them hokey or your just don’t see the point. At the sametime, everyone in your company seems to just do what they want.If this is something you see in your business, you’re going to want to read on.
You need to be clear about where you want your business to go.
The first step in having a great business is to become clear on where you want togo. Too often I see business owners and their advisors going in different directions just because their advisors aren’t really clear about what their client wants to achieve.
This is an important point for you to remember. You need to be clear and communicate what you want for your business. After all, if you’re not clear, how can anyone else be clear!
This is a good place for us to talk about why.
I think why just might be the most important word for you to understand. You need to really be clear about why a particular mission is important for you and your company. You need to be able to easily communicate this with the people you work with.
Why isn’t something you talk about once in a while, why is something that needs to always be top of mind. You need to be absolutely clear why you want to do something. To get to the underlying reason you’re going to need to drill down on why…..most of the time when you drill down you’re going to have to go at least five levels deep.
Why you want to do something needs to be based on your values.
Values are where you need to start when you’re communicating what’s important to you. Without clarity around values, you’re likely to start moving in a direction you’ll later regret.
I use the AVI Value Metrics process. This is an instrument that helps me drill down and have a very meaningful conversation with my clients about their values. At the end of the AVI process both my client and I are very clear about what values the client holds dear and why those values are important.
Now you’re in a position to have a conversation about how your values tie into your mission statement. This gets you a more congruent answer to why and allows you to really understand what’s important for your company, employees and suppliers to achieve.
Have your own system to create a value statement
I probably should have put this at the top of the post. Until you’re really clear on your own values it’s hard if not impossible for you to help your stakeholders achieve their outcomes.
I’m a big fan of Michael Port’s book Yourself Solid system. One of the first premises in Michael’s program is that you’re not meant to serve everyone.This premise requires that you know whom you’re meant to serve and more importantly,who you need to be saying no to. Until you’re absolutely clear on what your values are it’ll be impossible for you to know whom you should be serving.
Values lead to Vision
Once you’re clear on your values it’s time to develop a vision for your life and business. This is hard work. It’s where you need to be ask yourself tough questions and even get some outside help for clarity.
You now have clarity around values that both you live by. You have an intersection of shared values and you are e-cited about helping your company move forward because you truly believe in what you want to accomplish. You can congruently help your business take the next step and create a mission statement that includes both your values and vision of where you want your business and life to be.
Vision leads to a mission statement
You’re now in a position to build a mission statement that can be integrated in everything you do. The mission statement that you help your client build should be no more than ten words and be able to be answered with a simple yes or no.
Tere are a couple of mission statements that I regularly use. The mission in my personal life is to do interesting things with interesting people. It has six words and can be answered with a yes or no. My mission in my business is to help my clients build a successful and sustainable business. This mission statement is 11 words long, is easily remembered and can also be answered with a yes or a no.
I want you to stop reading, craft your own mission statement and share it with us in the comments below. Are you willing to do this!
Now you’re ready to help your business move forward
This is where it gets to be fun and easy. You’ve done the hard work. You know what the values are that drive your life. You’ve learned what values drive your business. You even understand how both of your values intersect. You’ve put together a vision of what’s possible and that vision has been reduced to a ten word mission statement.
Congratulate yourself. You’ve done a great job of helping you and your stakeholders become clear on what you want to do and why you want to do it.
As you move forward, make sure you stay on track and always ask is what about we’re going to do move the needle forward or not based on our values and mission. If the answer is yes, keep going. If the answer is no, stop. It’s really that simple.