If you don’t know who you are, and why you are doing all of this, then nobody else will. And, who you are begins with your mission and values. Wow, these are important!
I learned a long time ago that values are critical to helping your team create a winning roadmap. Values provide a barometer for making important decisions. We frequently cite our values to keep everybody focused on what is important. Our values are simple:
- Learning. Learning is fun. We learn from each other, from our successes and from our mistakes.
- Honest and clear communication.
- Innovation and creativity.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, one of the famous Harvard Business School thinkers, recently wrote a good blog post, Ten Essentials For Getting Value From Values. Much more eloquent than I ever could be, she points out that it’s not just values that count, it’s keeping them alive by creating a conversation about your values.
If values are your barometer, then your mission is your guidepost. When I think about my mission, I think: what do I really love? And what do I want to change? What will guide me and inspire me, even though every business changes frequently (especially lately, and if you want to be around next year)? My mission is as simple as my values: transform the educational experience so that people love learning.
Missions are huge! Larger than life! They need to be big enough to get you out of bed to slog away at your company day after day and year after year, even when the problems are totally stressing you out. And, they need to give you the inspiration to imagine the possibilities and do great things.
It is really good to find a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who will help you get out of the day to day weeds to work on your business and the critical path to success. I belong to Women Presidents Organization, which has over 100 chapters of 20 Presidents who help each other succeed. This month, my chapter is working on, guess what, mission and values…