Posted deep into an organization’s website you will find their mission and vision statements. Sometimes you have to dig into their strategic or business plans or annual reports to know what they are. These statements outline the purpose for their existence and evidence of the direction they’re going.
But have you ever developed a mission statement for yourself?
Several months ago, I met with a City of Toronto director in search of making my name known outside of LinkedIn and was determined to make an opportunity of it. When he got around to asking me what my core values were, I was a bit dumbfounded. While I knew what my preferences were, no one in my professional life asked me that question. Safe to say, I blew that moment.
Since that meeting, I took some time to contemplate and actually write down what my core values were. I used Scott Jeffrey’s Ultimate List of Core Values to determine the personal values that best suited me. Upon reflection of my work and lived experiences, I emerged with 10 words:
After deliberating on the stories that influenced my life, from childhood to the present, the list was whittled down to common themes:
- Freedom and independence
- Knowledge and Creativity
I drafted 3 statements and shared them with my closest friends. I wanted to get their feedback on which one of the 3 statements resonated with them the most. My personal mission statement that will drive the next stage of my career is this:
To lead, engage, strategize, and build relationships one community at a time.
If I developed one early in my career, I’m sure it would have changed. Seeing as I am not married with kids, I am sure it would change if that does happen. The mission statement will surely change during different stages of your lives.
A personal mission statement will drive your non-negotiables in terms of location, work environment, the types of leaders you wish to work with and the people you want to be surrounded by.
I wish I came up with this sooner so I could have been prepared for my meeting with that director. Although with my current circumstances, this will temporarily become difficult to achieve. I am confident that in developing the mission statement, under the right conditions and with people who see my value, the next opportunity will happen very soon.
With me sharing my post, I am already living by my personal mission statement. Let me know your thoughts.