I am on the board of a new non-profit organization and we are going about the exercise of creating a mission statement.
I can’t tell you how excited I am. It’s right up there with watching paint dry.
I have been through dozens of mission statement exercises over the years. Most were painstakingly tedious. Nothing will drive an impatient soul up the wall more than a group of people who wordsmith for hours simple statements that should take a few minutes to complete.
Of all the mission statements I’ve read and tried to memorize, those I recall with the least amount of aggravation are the ones focused on a fundamental purpose enhanced by simple core values.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. First, we’ll assume you know the purpose of your organization. Second, you don’t need to sweat the values. Just remember the advice your mom taught you long ago. They still work today.
So let’s give this a try.
Here’s our goal: make more money.
And let’s apply the following values that our moms taught us:
--“Mind your manners.” The most important person you’ll meet today is the one you are talking to right now, doesn’t matter who it is. Go out of your way to be nice to everyone.
--“If you don’t have anything nice to say…” You know the rest. Nothing is a bigger morale buster than listening to someone gripe about someone else.
--“Do your homework.” Before you turn on the TV or log on to the Internet for some mindless dribble, try reading something on your business or your competition or on leadership. Take notes. The more you prepare the more you succeed. And eat your vegetables, too.
--“Don’t sell yourself short.” Believe in yourself. Whether you are leading or selling or both, self-confidence is your most important asset.
--“Always say thank you.” You can do this with a note to a client, to an employee, to a boss or to a friend. People pay attention when you send a hand-written note. Say thank you out loud a lot, too.
So here’s our mission statement: We aim to get rich by living life the right way. See? It works.
If your mom is still with you or even if she’s not, may you remember all the basic things she taught you long ago. You know mom never even said they were for the future mission statements in your life. That’s a sign of a real leader at work.