Back when many of us were much younger, THE thing in business was to have a mission statement. The feeling was that if you didn’t have one or an IPO you should close up shop and start washing dishes. CEOs across the land slapped their newspapers (remember those?) on their desks and hired high-paid consultants to come up with catch phrases that defined everything the company did in one or two sentences. Typically the end product was something corporate and vague like Providing solutions in real time to meet our customers’ needs (Halliburton) or To be the best in the eyes of our customers, employees and shareholders. (American Standard).
I’ve interviewed for a few companies whose managers asked me if I knew their mission statement and were proud when I could rattle it off. Not that it told me anything about the company. For this article I went this website and created my own random mission statement: To control strategic notoriety with external impact for the benefit of our stakeholders and other end users.
The reason behind the snark this week comes from a conversation I had with my friend Jaymi. We met on fine Friday afternoon to eat sushi and solve a couple of the world’s problems (we’re still working on Japan). Jaymi mentioned taking a workshop to help her develop a mission statement for her tarot and writing businesses and was pleased with the results. I put down my California roll and paid close attention as she talked about how she came up with her own statement: I am a muse of creativity here to inspire, illuminate, and make magic to guide myself and individuals on their own creative and spiritual journeys.
Goals, guidelines and a vision. OK. I can get behind that.
Lately my creative wheels have been spinning in the mud in the middle of a field. I’m making a lot of noise but not getting anywhere. Ideas are ping-ponging around in my brain but I have no clear plan of what I want or how to get it. Occasionally I make a list and get overwhelmed and turn the paper over and work on my grocery list instead. Jaymi’s suggestion of making my own mission statement made me stop and think about why I my wheels were spinning and what I can do about. She wrote this excellent article on how to create your own mission statement which serves as a good jumping off point.
So, using Jaymi’s checklist, I am going to step away from the computer for a few hours today and start filling up sheets of paper. I plan to carry it with me throughout the week and add to it when I get an idea. Check back next week for the unveiling!! Celebrities will be in attendance and refreshments served.