Do You Have A Personal Mission Statement?
Every year during my keynotes, workshops and blogs I remind my colleagues the importance of writing, revising or reviewing their own personal Mission Statement. Mission Statements are important for any organization as it serves as a compass, a road map and provides a clear picture on what’s important and how will it be measured. I’m not sure I have ever come across a successful district or organization that does not have a strategic plan or mission statement. It's quite simple, "plan the work" then "work the plan." Companies have them, organizations have them, not for profits have them, schools have them...and just as important, you should have one too! However, many individuals do not have one!
Back in 2003 when I was starting my doctorate in educational leadership I came across some articles on the importance of leaders having their own strategic plan…or mission statement. From that time forward I have had my mission statement in a frame hanging in my principal’s office, on my superintendent’s desk, or even now sitting clearly above my computer’s docking station so I see it clearly every day. Not only do I noticed it every day in the office, I read it and reflect upon my current progress at least once per week.
When I was a principal I had all my teachers develop their own mission statements on attractive stationary that I provided and framed each one so they could be displayed in their classrooms. We even had a Professional Learning and Renewal Day where each staff member shared their mission statements. When a mission statement become public, people (and organizations) are more willing to commit and execute. As a superintendent I had our leadership team do the same. In both instances I was surprised that none of my colleagues had ever developed a mission statement. Although I should not have been surprised, because until 2003, I had not done so either.
Writing a mission statement is not a difficult process. The hardest part is getting started. Find some quiet time and reflect on the best version of you and how you want to be perceived. It’s important to avoid jargon and buzzwords and write from your heart. Be purposeful.
Core Values What are your 3-5 core values? What makes you tick, gives you energy, makes you happy and inspires you? You will never stray from these beliefs or actions. This is what you want to be known for.
What are the things you hold dear to your heart and you are committed to? These are the absolutes in your life. For what things will you make a stand? This is your crusade!
How will you monitor your progress? How often will you measure or reflect to see if you are being true to your mission statement? Who will help you monitor your success and provide you feedback along the way?
Measures of Success How will you know if you are truly living your mission statement? How will you know if your mission statement is producing the intended outcomes you desire?
After you write your mission statement draft, put it away for at least one day before returning to it again. The next step is to put the finishing touches on your mission statement and give it to two or three of your critical friends to read. Ask them if this sounds like you. If not, ask for specific feedback on what you need to improve on personally or change in your statement. When you are satisfied with your mission statement, print it on some nice stationary and frame it somewhere that you can see it daily. Don’t be afraid to display it publically where other people can read it to. One of the most successful strategies for following through on commitments, is publically sharing what you have agreed to do.
Summary Developing your personal mission statement and sharing it with a few of your critical friends can help you focus on what’s important in your life and allow you to stay committed to your core values. Living with purpose and committing to your mission statement will bring greater happiness and success in your life. I want to share my mission statement, and by all means, if you every see me not fulfilling my mission statement, please be a friend and let me know.
Bobby Moore’s Mission Statement
I will live and love with enthusiasm and passion. I will strive to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. I will believe in the “good” of all people and welcome individual differences and diversity. The foundation of my existence will be to work hard, play harder, live and laugh, excel in generosity and helping others, and to be a life-long learner. I will celebrate every victory, not just my own. I want my friends and colleagues to know that I take as much pride in their successes and accomplishments as I do in my own. I will always keep everything in perspective. My expectations of others will never exceed the expectations for myself. I will look upon challenges as opportunities and be outrageously optimistic. I will surround myself with a loving, confident, intelligent and honest support system. My support system will provide me with the encouragement, support and “specific” feedback to stay on track and be successful. I will check my mission statement monthly, and solicit input from my support system regularly.
About the Author Bobby Moore has spent more than 25 years in education as a teacher, principal and superintendent. As President & CEO of EPIC Impact Education Group, he partners with schools and professional associations across the country to implement high-growth strategies, professional learning for leaders, strategies for creating high performing and positive cultures, as well as keynoting at conferences and school districts. Please contact him at Dr.BobbyMooreed@gmail.com or follow him on twitter @DrBobbyMoore
This blog was authored by me as an employee of Battelle for Kids.
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