Mission Matters

Company culture describes the shared characteristics of an organization, and this includes your mission, vision, values, goals, practices, and attitudes. While all of these are important, I want us to focus on mission. Keep in mind this is not so much about a mission statement but rather your team feeling they have a mission and a role in carrying it out.
I like what Jim Collins said in his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t
“For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.”
Many people think company mission statements aren’t necessary, and that they are simply a nice piece of wall art for a large, well-established organization. But in reality, a mission statement is an incredibly powerful strategic tool for activating your employees’ commitment and engagement with your organization.
If you want a highly engaged team, then you will have to remind them that their work matters, and they are making a difference. For most people, they feel like they simply have a job that helps provide a financial means to an end, nothing more. Working for money alone is an inferior reason to work; there has to be more.
For many people they feel their work — the thing they dedicate so much of their life to – holds little meaning. Sadly, work is merely a place they begrudgingly go, trading their time for money in order to meet their financial obligations. They’re hoping someday they will find time for those things that matter more, like faith, family, vacations, and hobbies. Work for too many is simply something to be endured, and this is not exactly a recipe for a high-performing team.

Inspire Your Team to Be Mission-Minded

Giving your team a mission worth following should be one of your top priorities. Why are meaning, purpose and mission so important? Because people are much more motivated when given a sense of purpose, rather than just pursuing profits. They tend to have a sense of ownership when their work means something to them personally, so they are naturally more committed, engaged, and motivated. This is not only good for your team, but it’s also important to building a culture that’s healthy and competitive.
People on a mission are passionate and willing to sacrifice for what they are doing because they have a purpose that is important to them. Mission is much more important than margins, and it’s your job as the leader to give your team a mission worth following.
One definition I found of the word mission is “an important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes” or “a vocation or calling.” Considering these descriptions of a mission, I want to encourage you to ask yourself…
Why your organization exists and what you want it to accomplish?
How you do what you do differently than others?  Make a comparison chart showing what you do that’s unique and better than anyone else.
Put yourself in your customers' shoes and consider, Why do they or should they patronize our business?
Now here are some questions I want to ask you…
Do you have a mission statement?
What is your mission?
Is it more than words that hang on a wall or a catchy tagline that goes along with the name of your organization?
Does your team have a sense of purpose about what they do that inspires them to approach their work as a mission?
These are all questions that matter more than you might think. Because if you can inspire your team to love your mission, it can change a job into a mission!
Together, we can leave a mark that can’t be erased.
Terry Gwaltney
Author, Culture-neer
I’d love to connect with you on social media.


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