You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Mission’ tag.

Where does your strategy come from?

If you’re spending most of your energy looking at the competition, then I argue that:

  • By definition, you’re behind.
  • There are several others who probably “own” that space more than you do.

Don’t get me wrong: You need to be aware of competitive moves, and incorporate what you see. It’s just a lousy way to direct your strategy.

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Some days it’s hard to get focused. And stay focused. This can be a struggle for everyone on your team.

It’s understandable: There’s a lot going on, a lot of big, big issues and concerns.

So the first step on this path is to cut yourself a little slack for being … human. But you don’t want it to stop there, right?

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I’ve been talking about the three key dimensions of a company’s mission. Starting with delivering value for customers, we then added articulating what the value is for us, the team.

Finally, let’s talk about how a Mission captures value for the world. This might stretch your comfort zone, but stay with me here.

The good news is that you get to define “world” for your organization. It could be the local community, society at large, your industry, or even literally the whole world.

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Last week I talked about how we know when a company’s mission is truly a solid foundation, starting with delivering value to customers.

The second dimension is delivering value to us: our leaders, employees, contractors, partners, … anyone who is involved with creating and supplying products and services to those customers.

If you have a non-profit, feel free to change the language. But the concept is the same.

We won’t be able to continue, sustainably, unless WE want to do it. Again and again, year after year. And this is captured by a powerful mission statement.

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I had a powerful conversation recently with someone, exploring the nature of having an organizational mission. In my view, this is the absolute foundation for everything you do. So I’m going to explore this in the coming weeks.

I admit I’m a bit hesitant to start with your customers, but that’s where everything begins. The fact is that you need to supply value to customers, otherwise your business is not sustainable.

If you’re a non-profit, I understand that you might not want to call them “customers.” That’s fine. Call them beneficiaries, sponsors and donors. The fact is that you must deliver continuing value over the long term, or you’re going to fold.

So why am I reluctant to start with customers?

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This is SUCH a common phenomenon; I see it all the time. You’re busy doing a million things, but you’re in a fog about why.

Time to climb up above the murkiness, my friends.

And look at the big picture.

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I recently had the opportunity to lead a workshop about building marketing from a strong foundation of mission or purpose. But there was a sticking point for many in the room: They weren’t the business owner, so they didn’t feel they had the right, or the power, to declare what their company’s mission might be.

And they were right. This is the kind of stuff that gets created by owners and executive teams and such.

But that’s not the end of the story!

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I talk with employees all the time who are a bit lost on this concept of “mission.” They can’t bring anything to mind when I ask them what the mission of their company might be, and it doesn’t seem to have any relevance to their job even if there was one.

This is a problem.

Honestly, I don’t really care if you call it a purpose or mission or values or goal. I don’t mind if it doesn’t have a name at all. And I don’t care if it’s in highly refined words which precisely capture in a beautifully wordsmithed paragraph.

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How single-minded are you? How focused is your business?

I view this attribute as a continuum, ranging from spineless to monomaniacal. But I’m liking the concept of being fierce, because it combines elements of focus, intensity, and persistence.

So what does it mean to be fierce in your leadership?

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Leadership is weird.

We’re stuck in this space of always striving, always reaching. Never satisfied with the status quo.

But that wears people out – physically, emotionally, intellectually. So what’s the difference between a leader who uses this effectively, versus just burning people out?

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