Got goals? Of course you do. We all do. Business goals, career goals, personal development goals, health goals, family goals, the list goes on and on. Some of our goals are simple and quick while others are complex and time-consuming. One thing they all have in common is they all need resources to achieve. At the very least that resource is your time.
Time is a scarce commodity for all of us. We only have so many hours in a day and so many days in a lifetime. Obviously it’s important that we manage our time wisely and commit to appropriate goals that will help better our lives. If you are like most of us, you create your goals largely independently from one another. The problem with that is it can create a set of unrelated goals that may not ultimately take our lives in the direction we want them to go. Few of us consider our goals from a holistic ‘life’ perspective and whether they are coordinated objectives to get us where we want to be long term.
Organizations help solve this by creating mission statements. Simple brief statements that define the identity and highest objective of the company. Every action, objective and goal set within a company should adhere to the their mission statement.
Here are a few examples from known companies:
Our goal for Citigroup is to be the most respected global financial services company. Like any other public company, we’re obligated to deliver profits and growth to our shareholders. Of equal importance is to deliver those profits and generate growth responsibly.
At Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. We consider our mission statement a promise to our customers. We deliver on that promise by striving to create technology that is accessible to everyone—of all ages and abilities. Microsoft leads the industry in accessibility innovation and in building products that are safer and easier to use..
Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.
Mission statements are not only for companies. Successful people develop purpose statements to act as their personal identity compass. A well developed purpose statement can be an invaluable tools to use to gage almost any important decision you make in your life. It can be used as a measuring stick when making career decisions, evaluating job offers, making education and personal development choices and setting goals to make sure they are aligned with your higher purpose. The values defined in your purpose statement should be a concise reflection of who you are as an individual and should be used to keep you on track in good times and in challenging times. People who are “true to themselves” are people who keep their purpose statement in mind at all times.
So what does a purpose statement look like?
Any good coach can help you create a purpose statement. You need to create a careful and detailed checklist of all of your key values and attributes then combines these into a meaningful statement that represents you from your highest perspective in a timeless fashion. It always starts with “I am a …” and then captures your most important values and attributes in life, all aspects of your life.
Real examples of well-formed purpose statements are:
I am a knowledgable problem solver who leads creatively and communicates insightfully.
I am a passionate entrepreneur who solves real-world problems and creates wealth.
I am a balanced and committed teacher who creates knowledge and leads by example.
I am an expressive artist who creates compassion and lives respectably.
A good purpose statement is essential and well worth committing time and energy to get right. Once you have it, it’s like turning on the switch for your own personal North Star.