Why every CEO should have a personal mission statement


You probably have a business mission statement, a brief statement of your organization’s purpose. Tesla’s mission statement, for example, is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” For Google, it is: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

A corporate mission statement is useful because it describes the purpose of your business and brings your team together around a common goal and vision. It can also make customers choose your business over its competition. Consider this: American consumers are over 80% more likely to have a positive image, trust, and be loyal to brands that lead with determination.

While it is clear that mission statements add value at the corporate level, it is also crucial that you use them as a tool in your day-to-day leadership. A personal mission statement is a lot like a corporate mission statement – it’s a code of conduct that defines your beliefs, what you stand for, and how to lead in a way that embodies your values.

In other words, a thoughtful and well-written personal mission statement becomes your individual definition of success, an expression of your “why.” Think of your personal mission statement as a compass that guides you to your deepest motivations.

Benefits of a personal mission statement

Your personal mission statement is not meant to be written once and then tucked away in your office to collect dust. Rather, it aims to shape your actions as a leader on a day-to-day basis and helps you attract and retain clients and team members who are aligned with your approach to life and business. There are also a number of advantages to writing your own personal mission statement.

Your personal mission statement helps you maintain a calm presence.

Let’s say you feel exhausted after an extended period of time dealing with urgent business issues and sorting out internal conflicts. Reviewing your personal mission statement in this scenario can help you deal with your emotions and show yourself with greater presence and greater command. For example, maybe you are using your personal mission statement “to inspire others through teaching and mentoring” as a recording to step back and make a conscious choice to provide calm coaching to your team at work. instead of making angry and frustrated criticisms.

Your personal mission statement improves decision making.

Your personal mission statement provides a shortcut to help you act faster and with confidence. Continuing the example above, if your personal mission statement is to “serve as a leader and lead a balanced life,” perhaps you lift weights after work to clear your head or decompress while preparing for the job. have dinner with your family. Touching the groundwork with your personal mission statement, especially in times of stress or tension, saves valuable mental and emotional energy. It shows you what to say no or yes to so you can focus on what matters most and make more effective and positive choices.

Your personal mission statement helps you present yourself authentically.

Adopting your personal mission statement is a practice of self-acceptance and requires that you agree to be fully considered as a leader. Your mission statement gives you a barometer to gauge how well you meet your own definition of success, regardless of income, board approval, or external accolades. Plus, while your business may change dramatically in five or ten years, your personal mission statement evolves with you as a leader and can provide you with stability in the midst of change.

How to create a personal mission statement

It can be difficult to craft a personal mission statement, especially if you’ve never thought about it before. Here are several exercises that might inspire you:

Look inside yourself

Examine your core values ​​or the principles that form the foundation of your personal mission statement. In my book Be confident: stop overthinking and channel your emotions to be successful at work I’m sharing a full Core Values ​​assessment that you can do, but as a starting point, think about questions like:

  • What gets you out of bed in the morning?
  • What activities inspire your best work or feelings of satisfaction?
  • What setbacks have you been through and what have you learned from them?

I ask my executive coaching clients to catalog their cutting edge professional experiences. We then look for themes and templates that mean what is most important to them.

Check your schedule

Your priorities should reflect your goal. This means that you can often reverse engineer your personal mission statement by observing how you spend your time. By paying attention to what you devote the most attention to – and how much that energizes or takes you out of it – you can get a real sense of where you have the most impact.

DIY 360

Talking to your team, peers, and mentors can be a valuable counterweight to self-reflection. When developing their personal mission statements, I ask my clients to conduct an informal 360 assessment. They email three to seven colleagues to solicit feedback on their top three skills and number one strength. Seeing how others describe you can be powerful, eye-opening, and affirming.

Write your personal mission statement

You are now ready to design your personal mission statement. Be concise (about one to two sentences, or less than 50 words) and in the present tense. The more specific, visual and emotional, the better.

Here are some models to consider:

Serve in such a way that [contribution you want to make or future you want to see].

TO [what you want to achieve, do or become] so that [reasons why it is important]. i will do it by [specific behaviors or actions you will use to get there].

Live every day with [choose one to three core values] so that [what living by these values will give you]. i will do it by [specific behaviors you will use to live by these values].

To bring [impact or result] To [intended audience] through [specific actions].

Use [skill or expertise] to allow [intended result] for [specific group] so that [ultimate goal].

Remember, your mission statement is not set in stone. Review it monthly or quarterly to make sure it’s new and relevant to your individual ambition and business goals, and that you stay true to the values ​​and ideals that are important to both you individually. and for all stakeholders in your business. organization.

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