A recent small business client reached out to me regarding some vision misalignment within their company. My first question to them was regarding their mission statement, both personally and for their business. Even after being in business for more than 10 years, they never established one.
Business plans are great to have for any business about to go grassroots, but they will become obsolete as soon as the company opens its doors. There is just no way to predict the influences, both internally and externally, that will affect your plan. In the end, your plan will be dwindled down to a mission statement. The one thing that any business leader should stand by.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself when establishing a mission statement:
Who/what do you serve?
What do you value?
How do you do what you do?
Once you’ve established your 3 to 5 sentence mission, find a place in your business to post it for customers and employees to see. Some companies have their statements on their website, while others have them posted at the entrance.
An old leader of mine, Chef Ephraim, told me that customers consistently returned to the restaurant because they knew they would be experiencing consistent service and quality. He said, “If we skimp on either one of those, we could lose our customer.” Obviously, if we lose our customers, we’ll lose our business. Having this statement posted for all to see helps protect the vision alignment by holding employees and partners accountable through an established mission.
Statements like these are even becoming increasingly popular on a résumé. They clearly define a candidates values, while highlighting a few accomplishments. Successful leaders practice self-leadership. This is a skill that can be increasingly difficult for one to master, because it requires utmost humility and honesty during self-reflection.
Do you have a personal mission statement? Share it in the comments below.
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