by Jennifer Deamud
Mission statements are relevant to nonprofit and for-profit entities, and are also applicable to individuals. Mission statements don’t shape destiny, but they do put an organization’s purpose into focus; the same is true for personal mission statements. Without a mission statement, businesses and individuals may take much longer to acquire the success they desire.
Define a Purpose
Mission statements bring people together for a common objective. They bring clarity to external partners and supporters, tell the story of why an organization exists and align everyone in one clear direction.
When an organization hires someone who supports the mission, they are able to leverage each other to maximize success. In fact, with the generational shifts in the workplace over the past decade or two, individuals seek private sector employers who have a purpose and meaning beyond making a profit. In today’s “War for Talent,” people aim to align their personal beliefs with their professional careers and seek out employers they can connect with for professional and personal growth.
Organizations need a strategy for the future. Strategic decisions should not be based on what the competitors are doing or trying to copy them, instead, effective decision making needs to align with the company’s mission, allowing the organization to stay true to the mission and strategically align with its vision.
Inform External Audiences
While it is important to create a mission for clarity and direction for an internal team, it’s equally important for external audiences. Mission statements elevate an organization’s purpose and aim. External audiences, including customers and strategic partners, are eager to connect with organizations that align with their own values and goals.
Nonprofit and Private Sector
Mission statements tend to be associated with nonprofit organizations, but private sector businesses are starting to get on board. At the end of the day, mission statements help organizations (nonprofit or private sector) obtain their goals and encourage individuals to be successful.
Personal Mission Statements
Whether we recognize it on a daily basis or not, all of us are on a journey. Over time, our personal mission statements need to be adjusted. When I was in my 20s, my mission was to be successful at everything I do. When I was in my 30s, I have to say my mission was to acquire extensive leadership opportunities. Now that I’m in my 40s, my mission is to love, encourage and support others with a compassionate and empathetic heart in everything I do.
Your mission should reflect the things that get you up in the morning. What gets your blood flowing? What puts a smile on your face? Once you have your mission statement identified, you will notice that setting professional goals, making decisions and being fulfilled comes more naturally.