Most business owners would agree that having a clear mission statement is important for setting the tone for any size venture. After all, your job as a leader is to cast a vision, develop a plan for getting there and then lead your team on the journey.
And the first law of navigation is to know your target destination. Whether you’re programming a flight plan or inputting an address into your GPS, once you have the coordinates you can then work backwards to chart your journey.
When you cast the vision for your business, its imperative that you are crystal-clear on your final destination…meaning you have thought through not only what your business bottom-line looks like when you’ve accomplished your vision, but that you also can envision what the day-to-day operations look like as well. Once all of this has been thought through and solidified, most businesses craft a Mission Statement that becomes the living and breathing embodiment of their vision…the target by which they set the sites for their team and begin charting the course towards making that vision a reality.
And then they print it on some posters to put up around the office, copy and paste it into the employee handbook and on the website and focus on putting together the financial goal-posts and KPIs involved with achieving the short term goals as part of the long-term strategy.
Defining your mission statement is a huge first step in laying the foundation for a successful business. It’s the cornerstone, if you will–without it, you won’t have a team on a mission, but instead a group of people wondering lost in the proverbial desert.
But this is where the majority of business owners stop. They define their mission statement, print it on their letterhead, hang up posters around the office and use it as a rallying cry in team meetings.
But the most successful businesses–the ones who create generational wealth for their founders, have a far-reaching impact on their local communities and achieve explosive sustainable growth…
They realize that the mission statement is only the first step.
To build a business that can withstand the growing pains of employee turnover, shifting consumer preferences and any other thousand of setbacks that life can throw your way, you need a few other key elements to make your mission statement actionable.
Define WHO You Are:
Define the Key Characteristics You’ll Need to Develop in Order to Accomplish your Mission
Your mission statement is your north star, guiding every decision and strategy. However, without the right characteristics to drive this mission, it remains a distant dream. Defining these traits is essential in creating a culture and mindset aligned with your mission, ensuring everyone is pulling in the same direction.
- Revisit your mission statement: What values and traits are implicitly or explicitly required to achieve these goals?
- Involve Your Team: Conduct a workshop or survey to gather insights from various team members. This will not only provide diverse perspectives but also foster a sense of ownership and commitment.
- Identify and List Traits: Based on the feedback and your analysis, list down the key characteristics vital for your mission’s success. These could include traits like innovation, resilience, teamwork, integrity, etc.
Why it Matters:
When you define the key characteristics your team needs to develop, you’re defining the kind of people who are allowed to work for you. If you fail to define these, you can easily find yourself in a position of having the wrong people on your team.
Determine WHAT You Do:
Identify Three Critical Actions We Can Take Every Day To Get Us Closer to Achieving Our Mission
Actionable, repeatable steps transform your mission from a concept into a living, breathing part of your organizational life. These actions provide a clear path for employees at all levels, ensuring that everyone contributes to the mission in tangible ways. These also provide an incredibly useful framework to rely on for when things get tough.
- Break Down the Mission: Analyze your mission statement and break it down into actionable components. What does each element of the mission require in terms of daily actions?
- Craft Three Key Actions: From this analysis, distill three critical, repeatable actions. These actions should be simple enough to be integrated into daily routines yet impactful enough to drive your mission forward.
- Implement and Monitor: Introduce these actions to your team through training sessions, and incorporate them into performance metrics. Regularly review their effectiveness and adapt as necessary.
Why it Matters:
These actions serve as a constant reminder of what is essential and keep everyone focused on what truly matters. They also provide a framework for measuring progress and a basis for continuous improvement.
The Bottom Line:
Developing key characteristics and determining critical actions are more than exercises in strategic planning; they are investments in your organization’s future. By focusing on these elements, you are equipping your team with the tools and mindset necessary to not only understand the mission but to live it every day.