During the last few weeks of blog posts, we have covered the most effective ways I have found over the years to develop Mission, Vision, and Values and why that’s so important. Next, we come to the “now what?” stage. This includes who needs to know about your Mission, Vision, Values and how you know if your company is actually “walking the talk.”
Who Needs to Know?
In addition to your employees, who else needs to know what your Intentional Purpose (your values, mission, and vision) is? Everyone! People want to associate themselves with people who know what they stand for (values), why they exist (mission), and where they are going (vision). Getting people excited about being associated with you starts with making sure that all of your employees, customers, and partners know what your Intentional Purpose is. Make sure it is clearly communicated by everything your company does. Getting your message across clearly and energetically will help your employees, customers, and partners tell others about your company. Make telling your story fun and easy for people and they will do it for you.
How Is Your Company Living Its Intentional Purpose?
People look for congruency: do you actually walk the talk? This is where your values, and, as a result, your behavior, tell more about you and your company than any statement. Most people have pretty good BS detectors, so make sure you know how your vision is being “lived” in your organization. Living your Intentional Purpose on a daily basis means creating systems and processes that are aligned with what you believe, who you are, and where you are headed. Use your Intentional Purpose as an overlay to all decisions made within your company. And if employees know this, just think how much easier it will be for them to make good decisions. The easier you make it for employees, customers, and partners to experience your Intentional Purpose on a regular basis, the more that purpose will become reality. As a leader, it’s your job to create an environment that promotes the Intentional Purpose of your company every single day.
One CEO I worked with was revisiting his company’s mission, vision, and values. He felt it was important to include the word “fun.” When I questioned him about what the company did to fulfill the promise of “fun,” his answer was that they held a summer picnic and a holiday party. I asked if having “fun” twice a year seemed like fun. He smiled and said, “Not really.” Now, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t have fun implementing your Intentional Purpose. Just make sure that what you state as your purpose genuinely reflects what you are all about and what you want to achieve. In other words, your Intentional Purpose needs to be based, not on catchy slogans, but on a foundation of values that are true for you.
Now it’s your turn to create your Intentional Purpose. Everything else in your business will flow from the work you do in this first chapter. It’s important, so take as much time as you need. If you already have a mission or vision statement, can you remember it? Does it still make sense? Do you know the values it comes out of? Are you living it on a daily basis in your company? If not, start over. Values first.
Excerpted from my book, “Putting Together the Entrepreneurial Puzzle: The Ten Pieces Every Business Needs to Succeed.” Available here on Amazon.