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What’s Your Mission?

Posted by on March 20th, 2013 with 2 Comments

I’ve spent the better part of the past three days discussing missions, purposes, and the meaning of life with a number of my colleagues.

A few of the conversations were about our company.
A few of the conversations were about my team.
A few of the conversations were more personal: my mission and the mission of those I was talking to.

Sometimes the language changes – purpose, goal, objective, calling – but the intention is always the same: focus.

In fact, today, my colleagues Frances, Alyssa and I discussed the difference between a career (a series of jobs strung together over time with clear progress), a job (a career without progress or the time factor), and a calling (a career with an internal feeling of destiny).

I had spent years working in a job before I got lucky and stumbled into a career that became a calling.

I consider myself fortunate that the great Drea Zigarmi challenged me a few years ago, asking, “What’s your purpose?” and not taking my response – “Have fun” – as an acceptable response.

It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
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I didn’t want my life to serve as a warning to others…

Through Drea’s prompting, I articulated my mission: “Provoke Constructive Conversations”. It’s simple and undramatic, but it provides undeniable power when I’m lacking focus. I use it in a number of ways.

  • I use it to decide whether to accept an assignment.
  • I use it to check that I’m providing my unique value.
  • I use it to see if a potential client really wants me.
  • I use it to plan my day, week, or month.

SMART as Hell Exercise

  1. Ask: Do I have a mission statement?
  2. Write: Your mission statement.
  3. Live: Your mission statement.
  4. Watch: As your life or organization gains traction. 

Share your thoughts, comments or questions below.

 

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  • Great article! This is very much in keeping with my own philosophy on how to get the most out of my time as well as enjoying the ride. Your notion here reminds me very much of Stokefire’s recommendations for brand authenticity. http://www.stokefire.com/2011/09/define_brand_strategy_gandhi/. By drawing from Gandhi they focus on bringing an organisations, thinking, saying and acting into alignment to create a brand that really understands itself and speaks to its audience. In same way I see the creation of a brand statement as similar to creating a personal mission statement.

  • Hi Scott,

    That’s a great article. Thanks for sharing!

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