Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Most serious companies, including most of the Fortune 500, have corporate mission statements. Mission statements are initially designed to provide direction and focus to employees within an organisation, an enduring statement of purpose.
A mission statement should be the vision that guides you and the people in a business. A mission statement explains the motivation for being present and answers the questions, "What are we about and what business are we in?"
When Stephen R. Covey wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, he explained that you must create your own mission as part of his second habit: begin with the end in mind. Even now personal missions are used by high achievers to keep them focused and on track.
Just like a business you are your own brand. To become a successful business brain you need to think as yourself as a market leader with a clearly defined mission. Think of this not as arrogance – but more as possessing a resourceful purpose. You cannot make a difference or be a serious contender if you don’t believe in yourself and clarify your personal mission. Here are some real-life examples for you to ponder…
Corporate: Google mission looks like this - “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Personal: Gandhi's mission was brilliantly delivered in a shortlist of ‘live’ statements. You can also bring your mission to life using this style, starting each sentence with "I shall" or "I will."
“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
I shall fear only God.
I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
I shall conquer untruth by truth.
And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”
Entrepreneurial: Sir Richard Branson - “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.”
He added that “In business, know how to be a good leader and always try to bring out the best in people. It’s very simple: listen to them, trust in them, believe in them, respect them, and let them have a go!
Committing to a personal mission offers you the opportunity to establish what's critically important to you and helps you keep on track. Steven Covey in First Things First refers to developing a personal mission statement as "connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it."
Create YOUR personal mission today. Be specific. Be creative. Be purposeful.