A certain amount of water has to have gone under the bridge of life before we can effectively begin to develop a personal mission statement. A lot of us come out of college with very little real world experience and we make choices about our careers, despite our lack of experience. One of the things I love about being past halftime is that I have years and years of hindsight and experience. I know what I’m good at and not so good at. I know what I’m passionate about and what I could care less about. These things are a huge plus when it comes to developing a mission statement.
According to the management guru, the late Peter Drucker, a mission statement is designed to say, “Why we do what we do. What we want to be remembered for.” Your mission statement doesn’t need to describe how you will go about it. How you accomplish it will change as your environment and technology changes.
Lloyd Reeb, author of Success to Signficance, reminds us there are three elements to developing a personal mission statement:
What kind of people or what cause do you care about the most?
What difference do you dream that you could make for those people or that cause?
What is your greatest skill or area of competence that you can bring to bear?
As for myself, I’ve discovered that I care deeply about people who are in mid-life and beyond and seem to be unclear about their mission. I hate the thought of mature people just coasting toward the grave. I also know that every spiritual gift inventory I’ve ever taken over the past several decades always scores me very high in encouragement or exhortation. And, I know I’m also a fairly skilled communicator. I know I have coaching skills too.
Therefore, my personal written mission is “to inspire transformissional living in adults over 50.” Every word is aligned with my gifts, my passions and the impact I want to make. I’m dedicated to using my gifts of encouragement and exhortation to inspire. I’m passionate about seeing change happen in the lives of people I influence. I’m fervent about helping people live intentionally and purposefully. And my target audience is adults over 50. It’s all wrapped up in my personal mission statement.
So, if you don’t have a mission statement or need to write a second-half mission statement, why don’t you start developing one today by writing your answers to the three questions above. And, maybe just jot down a few words or phrases that summarize those answers. And then stay tuned, I’ll have more to suggest in my next post that will help you to write your personal mission statement. And in the meantime, go to the Mission Statements website for some ideas that might stimulate you toward developing your own statement.
QUESTION: Would you share what you are learning about yourself through these exercises? Use the comment section below.