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  • jamesarndt13

Your mission, should you choose to identify it!

Do you remember the energizing words from the block buster Mission Impossible movies? I am a fan of actor Tom Cruise and I can feel the enthusiasm that he brings to the role. His energy, drive, and commitment to complete such difficult missions is truly inspiring. I am generalizing here, but when these movies begin there is a mysterious mission that is delivered to the hero, an impossible mission, should the hero choose to accept it. Then the message self destructs to bring a climax to the importance of the mission that is set before our action star.

Have you received your mission? Did it come through a mysterious message? Did it self-destruct? I know some of us would like for a mysterious mission to come via messenger. Be dropped off at our breakfast nook as we begin our day. We read it, engage with it. Become aligned with it. Then do everything in our power to devotedly accomplish it. But, as my mom so wisely told me when I was young, don't always believe what you see in the movies.

Does your organization have a mission? Is it clearly defined though a mission statement? Is your team devoted to accomplishing the mission? Let's go a little deeper, do you have a personal mission statement? Is it clearly defined? Are you like Tom Cruise? Are you devoted to accomplishing your personal mission?

I have worked in organizations that have both clearly defined missions and some that refused to consider even the thought of establishing a mission statement. I have both considered and valued the points for and against organizational mission statements. I can recall earnest discussions with some elected officials over my 17 years of local government management service. Some well intended leaders did not see the point of wasting time determining a mission for the City, while others put the upmost importance on establishing a clear point of being for the City.

The word "mission" itself is defined as a specific task for which a person or organization is charged. I submit to you that is hard to accomplish what you want or need to accomplish unless you identify what it is you are charged to accomplish. As a City you must identify what it is you want to be. What is it that is important for you to accomplish? Identify it, publicly claim it, and fervently go after it! How else can you be held accountable for accomplishing it? How else will you know what it is you are supposed to be doing? How else will you be able to know if you have successfully accomplished it?

In fact, I humbly plead that unless you clearly establish a mission for your organization, it is not going to be possible for your to accomplish what you should be doing. How can you accomplish your mission if the mission does not exist? It is critically important for cities and other organizations to truly consider their purpose in order to stay on course and be successful. Set some time aside as a team and figure this out. Let the mission you identify drive your organization forward.

Just as it is important for organizations to have a clearly defined mission, I want to challenge you as an individual to set some time aside on a Saturday or Sunday and ask your self, what is my personal mission? What drives me? What do I want to accomplish with my life? You do realize, you only have one life to live. You are here for a reason. What is it? Take some time to focus on this question. You have gifts for the world, please use them. Please share them. Please be on mission. It will better you and the world. Despite your age it is never to late! At 48 I just set me personal mission statement. It is why I exist: "To encourage others always!" Explanation point added for emphasis.

To set your organizational mission statement or your personal mission statement, please keep these simple tips in mind:

  1. Be concise. I prefer a one sentence strait to the point mission statement.

  2. Be aligned. The defined mission needs buy-in throughout the Team to insure success.

  3. Be committed. To insure success commit to your mission. Be resolved. Be resolute.

  4. Be accountable. Promote what your mission is and hold yourself and your team accountable to successfully accomplishing your mission.

With a clearly defined mission statement you will quickly realize that what you truly desire to accomplish (your mission) is possible!

Here we grow!

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