- Does your mission statement reflect the importance and urgency of what you are called to do?
- Does your mission statement motivate your people to take action and overcome challenges?
- Does your mission statement communicate to your members, donors, volunteers, or customers that they are part of something life-changing?
If your organization’s mission statement checks those three boxes, then congratulations, you’re ready for growth and vitality in the new decade! If you can’t honestly check any of these three boxes, then keep reading, it’s not too late!
A strong mission statement can help you conquer the world. That is not merely hyperbole, a clearly defined mission statement can create focus and energy throughout your team because they are working in the same direction. Unfortunately, most mission statements lack clarity and excitement, they are too long, and are generally unmemorable. Also, most mission statements lack the direction that is needed to create alignment, increase engagement, improve talent recruiting, and increase productivity.
How do you accomplish all that and still keep your statement memorable and motivating? Following the advice of Donald Miller and his StoryBrand team, you should create a set of Guiding Principles that includes a mission statement, key characteristics, critical actions, your story pitch, and your theme. StoryBrand’s Business Made Simple University has an entire course on creating your mission and guiding principles (I am not compensated for recommending this online training program).
Here is a brief description of each part of your Guiding Principle package:
1) Mission Statement – identifies the conflict your constituents face, defines the destination where you can lead them, and foreshadows the win and possible the loss avoided if they follow.
2) Key Characteristics – this is where you define the three main characteristics for the people that are going to accomplish the mission. These are not vague moral values, like integrity or loyalty, but specific characteristics that will lead your team to success.
3) Critical Actions – these are the three main things your team should be doing every day to move the mission forward.
4) Story Pitch – is an elaboration of your mission statement where you define the severity of the problem your constituents face, how your solution resolves that problem and what the result can look like, and ties it all into the theme of your mission.
5) Theme – this is a statement of why you do what you do and why it is important.
Once you have created all the parts of your set of Guiding Principles, then you will have a blueprint to share with all your staff to inform decision-making, shape recruiting new employees and developing your current ones, and provide a consistent story about your organization and its mission that everyone can share when asked by constituents, the media, or friends at a cocktail party. I would recommend sharing the new set of Guiding Principles in a variety of creative ways, like a kickoff party and videos, but it is important they become a part of the daily conversation with and among your team.
Creating your own set of Guiding Principles takes time an energy to do it right, but it doesn’t need to drag on for months or cost tens of thousands of dollars to develop. Again, I highly recommend the Business Made Simple University program that includes the course Mission Statement Made Simple. And, as a Certified StoryBrand Guide, I can help you write your statement and develop a plan for implementing them throughout your organization.
My prayer for you this new decade is that you continue to grow into your mission because I believe you are called to change the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Happy New Year!!!!