07 Feb

Want stability in your organization? Move fast. No. Even faster.

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In his book, Thanks For Being Late, Thomas L. Friedman recounts the advice from an Olympic Kayak medalist: To enhance stability in rapids it’s important to move as fast or faster than the current. Every time you rudder or drag your paddle in the water to steer you lose momentum and that makes you more vulnerable to flipping over.

This should be a warning for leaders who believe that they take the safe route when they choose a wait-and-see-attitude when things heat up. I am not promoting that we jump on every band wagon traversing the horizon, and if you know anything about me, you know I’m a plan freak, but keeping up with technology is becoming the single most important competitive edge for companies of any size. When I say keeping up with technology, I include upgrading tools, but it’s the mindset of expecting, managing, and even pushing for even faster change, that I am addressing here.

How often are projects put on hold while you implement the reorg; the new ERP system; the migration to Office 365; the latest acquisition? Stressed? Think about this: If Moore’s Law doesn’t care about your need to find islands of time to get settled in the “new environment” now, how do you think it will feel like in five years or ten? Now imagine that things will change more in the next ten years than they have in the past forty. For many, that’s a reasonable assumption.

The new environment is: move fast now. Ironically, it’s also the old environment. Heraclitus, in about 500 BC. commented, The only constant is change. And so it goes.

But it’s different now. Change is happening so rapidly that we must scrupulously re-examine and adjust our companies’ cultures to not fall into the trap of promoting the idea that change comes in the form of projects; little packages that are neatly planned, executed and integrated. Instead, we should be heralding in a new age of permanent flow. Actually, flow sounds too relaxed. Tsunami?

We still, and forever — mark my words, will need priorities and deadlines, but as technology propels us at greater and greater breakneck speeds, it will become increasingly important that individuals are given more responsibility for judgement and decision making. Steering from the top, as one president will soon learn, is over. An organization fighting to navigate rough waters by attempting to go against nature will, like a kayak, flip over because the uncontrollable flow of technology runs too quickly to navigate top down and trying to slow it or ignore it, as the case may be, only creates instability.

To compensate, organizations will need to better communicate goals and objectives at much faster velocities. More than ever, connecting with company values (not the ones on the wall, but the ones that are supported and referred to on a regular basis in all parts of the organization) will need a resurgence and its function raised to a higher status than is usually the case.

This requires us to not only upgrade communication tools, but also educate and support the soft skills that all too often take a beating around budget time.

What does this mean from a practical standpoint? It means that if you haven’t mapped out your workflows to enable rapid continuous improvements; if you are not becoming flatter as an organization to shorten the distance between the leadership and the ground forces; if you continue to do massive reorgs (waterfall) instead of continuously adjusting (agile); and if you keep pushing off projects based on what your organization can absorb instead of making projects more absorbable, your kayak is going to flip.

We used to say, Embrace change. Today it’s: Don’t stop to embrace change.  The mindset, therefore, should be: Paddle faster when the flow is going too fast. Counterintuitive? Not really. As long as you’ve got a value-based culture, capable direction, great teams, continuous improvement, and your eye on the customer, you’ll still be paddling because inertia will be on your side. The alternative is much worse.

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08 Jul

The Problem with Millennials …. Is that there isn’t one

by Todd Brink

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“Where are you?” I asked into the phone.

“I’m at home”, replied my millennial employee (we’ll call him Jed).

“But it’s two o’clock in the afternoon…  Why are you home?” I asked, astonished. During my first job I would NEVER have left early, or even thought about it for one second.

“I finished my work on my list. So I left,” Jed answered.

“Just because you completed your list, doesn’t mean you get to go home.  There is always more to be done, including educating yourself on our industry and our particular business.  If you find yourself with nothing left on your list, find me and we’ll figure out what you should work on next.”

Jed and I were now clear.  I thought this situation had been handled, until the next morning when I came into work.  Jed had left me a little something on my chair.  It was an article, entitled Why Millennials Value Their Free Time. 

I calmly walked into Jed’s office, stood squarely in front of his desk and said,  “Jed buddy, I saw the article you left me.  We all value our free time. Millennial or not.  I just need you to know Millennials aren’t special.”

This happened 10 years ago, but has stuck with me throughout my career as companies struggle to deal with Millennials, treating them as if they are an exotic pet, that has very specific handling instructions.

Notice, I didn’t come into his office and call him lazy and selfish.  Instead of bashing him or labeling his work ethic in reply to his subtle, yet somewhat bold way of informing me of his values and priorities as a Millennial, I chose to do something different. After informing him that Millennials weren’t special, I asked him a simple question:

“Have you ever had downtime on a job before?”  

His answer?  “Not really.”

Jed literally didn’t know that he was expected to keep busy, or that he was both allowed and encouraged to self-educate.  Keeping yourself busy without someone guiding you was a foreign concept to him. He didn’t even realize that most people were being promoted for not only how they accomplish their day to day tasks, but for how they accomplished tasks that were not on their “lists”.  Things that were normally not “theirs”.

Rather, promotions were based on how one chose to constructively fill their time.

How does this come to be a problem for any person, let alone a company? Millennial, or not?  I mean, I knew how to “work” and what was expected of me (as well as everyone else at the company) while being paid at a job since I was 12.  I was a Paper Boy.  Back in the days when kids (mostly boys) delivered newspapers door to door.  Yes, I’m that old….  Most of the past generations all had jobs starting at 12 or 14 (or earlier!) that taught us through experience the basics – building a foundation of expectations. Heck, when you were a Paper Boy you were basically a sub-contractor, to the newspaper company, running your own small business.

My first thought was, I should sit this young man down and explain to him what the expectations are, for having a “real” job. Not like the job of doing homework or odd tasks in his parents home that he probably only has been accustomed to.  Tediously explain in detail to Jed every single thing that contributes to having a “real” job.  Things like we start and leave at certain set hours, lunch should be 60 min at most, balancing the checkbook should be done at home and not at work as it is a personal task and not one the company should be paying you to do, and on and on and on. However I quickly stopped my train of thought, realizing this line of thinking wouldn’t solve anything.  All it would do is put a wall up between Jed and I, of the Great Wall of China type proportions. I needed to figure out what the exact problem was I would be trying to solve.

The problem wasn’t that he was a Millennial, the problem was he had no foundation of knowledge or previous experience for what was expected at both the work place and of him personally as a contributing, paid employee.

See this is when problem solving gets tricky.  It’s easy to simply look at the results of something and react to it, like just telling Jed that he was lazy and needed to grow up. Telling him that this is not how we work around here, and he better shape up or ship out – go find another place to work.  But that would have been incredibly disrespectful to a long list of entities; Jed, myself, the role the company had put me in, and the company itself.

OR

On the flip side I could have told Jed, “I’ve read the article you left me and you’re right.  Free time is incredibly important.  We should, and will, do away with the standard 8 or 9 hour work day if that will make you and your co-workers happy.  You can leave anytime your work is done for the day.  Be it 2 hours, or 15 hours, as soon as your list is clear – go enjoy!”  However, that also would have been hugely disrespectful to Jed, myself, the roles both he and I were in, as well as the company.

Unfortunately, these are the predominant ways companies are dealing with the “Millennial Problem” as it being referred to. Either they try to change the employee with commanding and controlling techniques, or they go the other way and change how their companies are run to meet the “needs” of Millennials (I’m looking right at you Google, Facebook, and GE). Neither one of these go-to approaches actually solves the “problem”.  In fact, I believe they make the problem worse.

I’ll say it flat out, Millennials are not lazy as a group, or as a generation.

They simply grew up with a different set of expectations and a different set of standards then the GenXers or Baby Boomers did.  They are not lazier.  They are not more entitled.  They are not more of a special exotic pet than previous generational groups.

Everyone that is out there charging $25,000 in consulting fees telling businesses what they can do to attract and keep Millennials is doing the business world, and the young people entering the work force, a huge disservice.

Millennials are no different then us…..they are us. We just grew up differently. They just grew up differently. Millennials aren’t the problem.

According to The Fiscal Times, one of the “problems” however is this:

“Nearly three-quarters of hiring managers complain that millennials – even those with college degrees – aren’t prepared for the job market and lack an adequate “work ethic”

See Todd! This proves they are lazy!!!

Well no, no it doesn’t.

Then it proves our colleges and high schools stink!! Students should learn what a work ethic is while attending college and high school!

Well no, actually they shouldn’t. The job of colleges and high schools, in my opinion, is to educate students. Not train students on how to work, or what is expected of them at the work place. Claiming that because college graduates lack a work ethic, it has to be a college or University’s fault, is both reactionary and simple minded.

So then hotshot, what is wrong with Millennials?

Nothing is wrong with Millennials. 

The reason Millennials lack “work ethic” is not because they are lazy, far from it. It is because they lack experience.  Real life, real job, real workforce experience. 

For a high number of millennials today, the job they secure out of college is the first “real” job they have ever had — beyond baby sitting, home chores, internships etc.  Let me be clear here, this is not to say all Millennials lack this experience, but it is true for an overwhelming number of them (studies disagree with the exact numbers mainly because of the staggering amount of Millennials entering the work force which increases every year – estimates range from as low as 35% to as high as 70%).

Since the “real” job after college is their first job, they simply don’t know what to expect from the work experience.  The only real exposure to business they have known is seeing their parents go to and from work (which many of them are now working from the home place), TV / Movies, and business books.  None of which accurately depicts what happens at work, and just how mundane / routine quite a bit of the work day is.  Most GenXer’s had their first job between the ages of 12 and 17.  Again, I’m in that generation.  We had paper routes, worked at McDonalds, worked at grocery stores, and were happy to have a job so that we could earn money to own and do the things we wanted to.  I had friends that picked corn from July to the end of August for 9 hours a day in the blazing sun.

My point is, we developed work ethics by working. There were a ton of opportunities to work, and we picked one.

The Millennials do not have the same opportunities as older generations did. Education and going to college still are the measures of success, but more recently there were more extra curricular activity options available.  Time for work has became less and less.  Even if Millennials did have a job while in school, the total hours per week they work are typically 9-12, instead of the 20-30 hours a week my friends and I worked.

Now this isn’t a bad thing or a good thing. It’s just a thing. It’s not a “Millenial Problem”.

Although the majority of Millennials weren’t working at a “real” job, they were learning. They’re great students, and probably the most ”book smart” generation we have ever had. Business should capitalize on this and use it to their advantage.  As of yet though, they haven’t. Instead businesses are trying to bully them into model employees of their generations, or changing policy to fit “Millennial demands.” Businesses should instead take the time to coach and lay out expectations for their new employees, Millennial or not.

I have had great success in sitting down with Millennials (one-on-one or in a peer group) by simply asking and answering questions about why things are the way they are and what exactly is expected of them. Here is an example:

Most GenXer’s had two or three graduation ceremonies in their life – 8th grade or middle school, high school, and college. Millennials had or will have at least five to seven in their life – Daycare, Pre-School, Kindergarten, Middle School, High School, College.  Now factor in any clubs or sports they may belong to (dancing, scouts, Tae Kwon Do, etc…) and that number grows.

The point is, we trained Millennials to expect a graduation or promotion every few years (and a celebration to go with it!) for just going to class, and now we wonder why they expect to be promoted every few years?

Instead we should be explaining that most promotions depend on three things: how the employee performs on their expected work, how they work beyond their job description, and if there is an opening for them to move up into.  When I discuss this with Millennials I coach, while they may not like what I am telling them, they certainly understand it.  Usually the next conversation is “What then do I have to do to get promoted?” And right then and there we create something measurable that the employee can grab on too.  This, in my mind, is treating the employee with respect.  And in-turn, the employee learns to respect the company.

I do need to bring up how, sadly instead of setting proper expectations and helping build a foundation of understanding (to help make up for lack of experience), Businesses instead decide to create “Junior”, “Associate”, “Assistant”, “Coordinator” – types of promotion positions that aren’t anything more than a title that goes on a business card.  Its a warm and fuzzy for the employee, at least until the employees asks, ‘So what does this mean?’  To which a good answer never follows.

So, can we ALL stop blaming Millennials for who and how they are? They are struggling through the same stuff everyone does as they begin to join the working world.  Charged with figuring out protocols and expectations.  The ONLY difference is that their working experiences are not as extensive or comprehensive as the Boomers or GenXers. That isn’t their fault.  It is ours.

Ultimately it is your job to make your co-workers and employees succeed. So take a look at what the problem is, what it is that needs to be solved, and stop trying to change the results. Understand what role you play in helping create the problem.  Then, step up, and help coach your co-workers and employees through the problem.

After all… that is what leadership is all about, isn’t it?


Todd Brink is the president/owner of Lean Culture Group, LLCauthor, and internationally known speaker on various topics including work culture, process and personal improvement, and strategic planning.

Lean Culture Group, LLC helps organizations grow and improve the bottom line. Lean Culture Group will help you achieve all your goals through the creation of an innovative culture. Key focus areas include: systematic problem-solving, strategic planning, employee development and one-on-one mentoring. For more information on how Todd can help you begin or raise your current improvement program to the next level.  Please email him at todd.brink@leanculturegroup.com or call him at 262-432-8010.

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03 Jun

Atrendia Friday Video 35: How do Lobsters grow?

by Rabbi dr. Abraham

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Rabbi Dr. Abraham’s lobster video is a great lesson to us in a compact 90 seconds. The lesson: Times of stress are also times that are signals for growth.

Feeling stressed? Perhaps it’s time for positive change.

Duration: 01:56

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Happy Friday!

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11 Mar

Atrendia Friday Video 34

Navy SEALs give us the key to leadership excellence

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ownership

This was an unexpected source of inspiration for me and perhaps the shortest Friday video ever, but definitely worth a quick view. Less than two minutes.

Duration: 01:56

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Happy Friday!

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06 Feb

8 Good Habits For 2015

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Change habits

Change = changing habits

If you want to change anything about yourself, it will require changing one or more habits, and since developing or stopping or changing a habit is so darn difficult, it’s best to focus on one particular habit at a time. Since it is so hard to do this, you will need the proper tool in place. Luckily, that’s just half a sheet of paper.

How:

Pick the easiest habit that you want to improve upon and apply to as many things you can for 30 days.
Print out the label below, cut off the piece you don’t need, then fold and place on a flat service in front of you. Make a new one for each good habit.
Schedule this exercise for the first work-day of each month in your calendar.
Repeat with the next.

Most readers will see familiar faces here. The idea of this exercise is not to nod in agreement that these would be good habits to form; it is to help you choose one habit to work on for an extneded period of time so that you master it and can move on. If you don’t like the idea of taking one month to complete the formation of a habit, you can try two months before going to the next one instead. Even if you focus on just one for three or four months you can’t go wrong. On the other hand, going too quickly increases the risk of not locking in the habit. It’s about retention, not velocity.

1. Avoid “white” or seemingly harmless lies.
You don’t have to tell your wife the truth when she asks you if she looks fat in that dress because our opinions should not always be trusted since they sometimes change over time; but late to an appointment? Don’t blame it on “traffic”. Instead, just apologize. You don’t have to give details. I planned poorly is a hundred times better than risking your integrity by inanely blaming traffic, which will be interpreted by the offended person as poor planning anyway. It’s not about being caught; it’s about the small lies overburdening you over time. Conversely, eliminating white lies incrementally builds up your self-confidence. This is first on the list because it has amazing impact on everything else.

2. Clean up after yourself.
In every way and every situation. Leave the room better than when you found it – always. Keep your desk clean, car, your closet. Perform a Kaizen (change for the better) in your stock room, your kitchen or in one room of the house every month.

3. Finish what you start.
Or at least fully complete parts of it that are usable, and keep track of the rest. That also means not starting things that you can’t finish.

4. Swallow the frog early in the day.
Do the most difficult things of your day in the beginning when you have the most will-power. Research shows that will power is like a muscle. It tires from use, but can also be strengthened.

5. Avoid speaking negatively and avoid others who have the same bad habit.
Complaining is the complete opposite of solving. Stay away from people who nag. After a while it becomes contageous.

6. Do what you promise.
Especially arriving on time. Integrity is the bond you have with all of those within your sphere of influence. Break it and people lose trust and faith in you, which, over time, is very hard to mend. Respect your promises to others and, most importantly, to yourself. If you have too much on your plate, you are breaking promises to yourself. Intervene in advance of failure.

7. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Think about how they will perceive what you are communicating or doing. Without understanding context and perspective we run the risk of losing objectivity; creating problems rather than solving them; and appearing blunt and unsympathetic.

8. Create lots of systems that help you navigate on auto-pilot and give you overview.
There more autopilot best practices you have, the fewer mistakes and stress you will have. These can include calendaring, tasks, projects, shopping, etc. Anything to help you forecast what is around the corner. Don’t worry that it can seem nerdy. No one will ever know unless you have a few too many and gush about all your systems. I didn’t add “Stop drinking too much” to this list, but if the latter occurs…

Three tips to facilitate change:
1. Be consistent: Consistency is the mother of habit. The brain needs consistency in order to carve out those neuro-pathways that build in your ability to go on auto-pilot. The more consistent you are, the less you have to think and try.

2. Small is always better than big when starting a new habit: Get good at filtering out all your dreams and desires and go for things that are easily achievable until you build a consistent track record.

3. Simplify, simplify, simplify. ‘nuff said.

Remember that the objective here is to go slow. Pick just one to start with and keep the reminder on your desk, refrigerator or your bathroom mirror – or make several copies and post them for everyone to see them. Who won’t benefit from that?
I honestly don’t expect everyone to print out the reminders; only the ones who are ready for the challenge. But I can nearly guarantee that if you don’t actually print out the reminders, this will have been a slightly interesting and thoroughly forgotten exercise in just moments. A lost opportunity.
Print it now!

Download your sheet

 

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13 Jan

Guest blog: Getting To Agreement by Sharon-Drew Morgen

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Sharon-Drew Morgen

Sharon-Drew Morgen is one of the cutting edge thinkers on the scene today. Her ideas for the sales industry go beyond our typical thinking. Because the sales model only addresses solution placement, it ignores the many non-solution-based decision issues buyers must handle prior to making a purchase: involve all the right decision makers, get buy-in, and manage any change a new solution will demand. By  using our expertise to first facilitate change and THEN sell, sellers become part of the Buying Decision Team, close quickly, and gain a competitive edge.

I’ll let her tell you more here about getting to agreement…


We all theoretically recognize that everyone has the right to their own beliefs. But in situations where we have great passion (or the moral high ground, as we would like to believe) we have difficulty being generous with those who disagree with us. Wouldn’t it be nice to persuade others to see the world as we see it? What’s causing the disparity between ideas, goals and convictions?

BELIEFS

People’s viewpoints, values, and world view come from their core beliefs, acquired through the experiences of our lives: from parents and education; religion and what we do for a living; what our parents taught us (implicitly and explicitly) and what we learned from friends. The conglomeration of these experiences create our political views, who we marry, how we raise our children, how we view the world, how we behave in relationships and where we live. I remember in 2000 I called my then-28-year-old son – living in the swing state of Colorado – on election day. I casually asked him what he was doing that day. He replied:

“You wouldn’t be calling me to ask who I’m voting for, would you?”

“Um, well, maybe.”

“Mom: You dragged me to rallies and marches, made me hold signs and go to sit-ins, and had activists over for dinner who became our friends. How could I vote differently than you?”

Our beliefs become the foundation of how we decide/act/live/socialize daily, making it so endemic that it’s hard to fathom that anyone would think differently. As a result of our orientation, anything said outside our beliefs gets runs the risk of being disrespected, disregarded, and discounted, and we often disenfranchise those who don’t believe or act as we do. Those of us who have strong beliefs about the environment, for example, may become angry when others don’t believe we are harming the earth. But if it were so obvious to everyone, if everyone shared the same beliefs, we would all be in agreement.

And so we attempt to persuade those who haven’t yet ‘seen the light’ to agree with us. But getting into agreement with folks whose ideas run counter to our beliefs is difficult: regardless of how rational our argument or the source of data we share, we are heard through biased ears.

HEARING AGREEMENT

It’s possible that by pushing our own agendas and not focusing on what might be common values and consensus, we are perpetuating harm and causing others to defend their beliefs. Isn’t there a middle road to agreement?

Change needs consensus: win-win is key (we know there is no such thing as win/lose). To enable change and facilitate agreement, we must discover common beliefs. NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) does this by ‘chunking up’ – looking at a broader view beyond biases to more generic beliefs. So instead of focusing on Global Warming, for instance, a chunk up might be discussing ways to diminish natural disasters so less people will be harmed.

A key elements to facilitating agreement is hearing without bias. I’ve just published a book called What? Did you really say what I think I heard? that explains how difficult it is to effectively hear others without the filters, biases, assumptions, and triggers that maintain our world view.

What if we enter conversations listening for common values instead of the typical focus on differences? What if we live with Ands and not Buts? What if we listen for words or ideas that would enable working collaboratively, or finding win/wins? If all we change is how we can hear each other to enable agreement somewhere, we might just be able to discover places of agreement and help us all make the world a better place.

But listening without bias isn’t natural or easy. Hence I’ve made What? free to enable everyone to share the material and begin discussing how we can disengage from our listening biases and wend our way to agreement. Get the book on www.didihearyou.com. For a more robust solution, contact me at sharondrew@sharondrewmorgen.com and we can discuss how to use the learning tools I’ve developed to both assess and guide you and your colleagues through change and choice. http://didihearyou.com/learning-tools.

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13 Dec

Anyone Can Create A Mission Statement

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He who has a “why” can live with any “what”

– Nietzsche

Full disclosure:  Most of the following is taken either directly or indirectly from the late great Stephen Covey.  If you are not familiar with the most important author on efficiency and effectiveness in the past century, start with The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People – and become one!


  • The power of the personal mission statement lies in your vision and in a commitment to that vision, that purpose, and those principle-centered values.

  • All things are created twice: first in the mind, as a thought or intellectual creation; and second in reality as a physical creation.

  • If you are living out someone else’s script you’re not really living; you’re being lived.

  • Vision – your sense of the future Principles – that which you want to live by.

  • When you live out of your memory, you focus on the past. When you live out of your imagination, you focus on the future.

 


Characteristics

Your mission statement should be timeless.  It should deal with both the ends and the means It should deal with all your roles in life It should deal with the four dimensions:  the body, the hear, the mind and the spirit

You should be prepared to act according to your mission statement privately and publicly.

Don’t invent your mission statement, detect it. Uncover it. Find out what your unique gifts are.  One way to find out about your unique gifts is to ask people who are close to you to tell you.  “What are one or two things about me that you think stand out as being special or different from other people?” is one way to ask, but there are other ways to get to that information.  Just don’t try to bias it by being at all specific.  Let them think a bit instead of coaching them forward.


Some tools to help get you started:

  1. List three or four things that you would consider most important in your life.
  2. List any long-term goals that you have set or would like to set. Think universal more than things you would like to check off on a list.
  3. Describe where you would like to be with your partner and other important people in your life
  4. How would you like to contribute or inspire others?
  5. What is it that brings you joy or peace of mind?
  6. Everyone has certain gifts that they bring to this world.  Describe yours.
  7. What scares you the most?
  8. What are you afraid of losing the most?


A. Make a list of your 5-7 various roles

You can be specific about your personal roles as a father and husband, but you can also just use family member.

You can be specific about your work roles as mentor, leader or salesman, but you can also just use CEO.

It will all depend on the focus of your mission statement

Add one role called “Sharpen the saw” – your role as a person who wants to continuously improve himself.


 

B. Prepare your mission statement

When preparing your mission statement, keep the following in mind and try to cover as much of it as possible, but it should be more of a tossed salad than a list.  Make it personal to you and be as creative as you like.

Also, this is not a vision statement where you write, In five years I want to have travelled to six different continents… This is not about a distant hope, but a concretization of your mission in life.

If you see yourself writing, I want this and I want that, slow down and get deeper into the why of it.

If you have trouble getting started, pick up an inspirational book or listen to some great music (without doing anything else) for at least ten minutes, then spend no more than five minutes writing a “pre-“ mission statement; just some bullet points that you know that you would want to include.

WARNING: For a lot of people, writing their whole mission statement in go is either too cumbersome or overwhelming.  If you feel that way, then just start by only allowing yourself five minutes to just get something —  anything written, which you can come back to and augment later.  Even bullet points are fine.  Just eliminate excuses and do it.

Try it now.

Here is mine to use as a guide.  Yours will be VERY different because we are all very different.  I’m only showing you mine to give you the basic idea.  Google “mission statement” and you will see lots.


 

We have so little time on this earth and we can spend each moment making it a better place, spreading love and positivity or we can go in the opposite direction; we can not go east and west at the same time. So I hope to consistently choose the high road even when – and especially when – the high road is burdensome.

I am thankful for the gifts that I have and I am conscious that along with my awareness comes responsibility.

I want to keep my expectations of friends and family low while expecting great integrity and accountability from myself.  I want to nurture my family on a daily basis, not just when I have time or when the feeling strikes me and I want to remember to seek to understand them before seeking to be understood.

It is not enough for me to feel love for those in my close circles, I want to show it in a range of ways.  Taking care of myself (physically, mentally, emotionally and socially) will ensure my self-worth, because without that I am of no value to others.

I want to be remembered as someone who inspired others to reach their potential and as someone who was not afraid to give without strings attached; someone open, generous, humble, kind, respectable and respectful of each individual.

 

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