D-Day forever changed the course of WWII. Eisenhower and the Allied Powers had a clear mission: land allied forces on mainland Europe and defeat the Nazis. You may not be taking on an evil empire, but every day can be a life altering battle. Some days you win and some days you lose. Mission statements keep us on track and provide the definition of success.
Just as businesses have mission statements to focus its product/service, average Joes can use mission statements to define success in their life. Mission statements also help maintain focus on days when getting out of bed is overwhelming.
Missions require Task and Purpose.
Creating a mission statement is simple, just answer the questions of WHO does WHAT, WHERE and WHEN (Task), in order to WHY (Purpose). Confused? Let me clear things up.
Begin by defining the task. Analyzing WHO and WHAT.
Military example: 1st Platoon will capture the enemy weapons.
Who is completing the mission? 1st Platoon. What are they doing? Capturing the enemy weapons. This simple statement forms the basis of your mission.
Personal example: I will play with my kids everyday.
Who is completing the mission? Me. What am I doing? Playing with the Kids. The who and what needs to be specific to help you focus on what is really important.
Once you have a solid understanding of what you want to accomplish define the WHERE and WHEN.
Military example: 1st Platoon will capture the enemy weapons at location Alpha no later than 0600.
You can see that the location and time provide parameters for the platoon. It gives everyone involved a clear picture of expectations.
Personal example: I will play with my kids 30 minutes everyday for 30 days in a row.
Notice the specific time constraints, and how long the mission will last. This boundary ensures measurable objectives.
[shareable cite=”Robby Miles”]Mission statements provide the definition of what success looks like.[/shareable]
Defining the purpose is often more important than defining the task. It answers the question of WHY. Anyone who has been around a toddler understands the power of asking WHY. Though toddlers are insatiable, adults seem to be satisfied by simple answers. We are more likely to follow along without asking a second WHY. Answering this WHY in your mission statement gives you and those you lead a reason to believe the task should be accomplished.
Military Example: 1st Platoon will capture the enemy weapons at location Foxtrot no later than 0600 in order to immobilize enemy counter-insurgent efforts in the area of operations.
The mission is to destroy their weapons in order to make sure enemy are unable to fight back. I’m pretty sure my soldiers would be on board. I not only give them something to accomplish, but a reason to fight beside me.
Personal Example: I will play with my kids 30 minutes everyday for 30 days in a row in order to improve my relationship with them and build a habit of spending quality time with the people I love.
Again, the statement IN ORDER TO provides a reason or WHY. The reason or purpose provides the fuel to continue on our “off days.” It helps you charge ahead when the world is against you or you are afraid.
I ask the soldiers under my command to memorize every mission statement (task and purpose) so they can continue the mission if leadership is injured or killed. I encourage you to do the same by memorizing your mission statements.
ACTION ITEM: Write A Complete Mission Statement
- Write a mission statement for a one month goal or 30 day challenge.
- Memorize your mission statement and repeat it daily.
- Remember to keep your mission statement clear, concise, and measurable.