How Sad is Your Personal Mission Statement?

For years, companies have used mission statements to describe what they do and why they do it.

Why don’t more people have their own? It makes things so much easier. In very few words, not more than a sentence or two, it describes your convictions, what you stand for, and why you’re so good at what you do. It’s your own personal manifesto of success, one that doesn’t depend on outside validation.

You claim it. You own it. 

Take Starbucks, for example. “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” Ok, it’s a bit over the top, but Starbucks puts people at the center of its value proposition, whether you like its coffee or not.  For LinkedIn, it is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

Give it a shot. How would you complete the following?

To [what you want to do] by [how you’ll do it] so that [what impact you hope to make].

Who are you, and who do you aspire to be? What’s most important to you? What are you passionate about? Why do you do what you do? What’s the impact of your work on the world?

Those are the questions you’ll need to think about.

Personal mission statements are an essential component of leadership and professional development. They offer the opportunity to think deeply about your life and your contribution to the world as succinctly as possible.

Your personal mission statement is a foundational compass you can come back to whenever you need a reminder of your sense of purpose and direction in your professional life.