I am someone who is very connected to mission and purpose, goals and objectives. The day-to-day procedures are important, but ought not to be without a compass guided by vision, lived by values and driven toward purpose and mission. Even if those end goals are lofty and years ahead of where you are now, I feel lost unless I’ve got some greater purpose to strive for and achieve. It’s important to be clear on these, because lack of clarity creates confusion. And confusion destroys everything.
Each should not exist independently, but should be connected in relationship. This goes for both one’s self as well as for organizations. Values change the least often, followed by vision, mission and then goals. Values guide decision making and thinking. Values describe what focus the journey will have. When we work with others or when we work together, what is it like to be on that team or be on your journey with someone else? It’s funny that you don’t often, if ever, see any organization state “fun” as a value. Wouldn’t it be nice to integrate “fun” as a value? How different could our work be if that was a guiding principle? That’s not to say that hard work can’t be fun right? With values in mind to guide one’s thinking, vision is next.
Vision statements are the lofty goal of the ideal outcome that perhaps won’t ever be achieved, but is worthy of being defined. How is the world going to be a better place because of you? Or because of what your organization does? A tough question, sure, but necessary for significant impact. This is where you get to dream big.
Mission is how you’ll achieve that vision. How will you organize your effort to achieve the greater purpose? What core elements need to exist or be sought in order to achieve the vision? That’s a mission.
A mission statement then can be broken out into goals and that is how we end up with each person’s daily efforts being directly tied to the vision. How do we setup our work to get to where we want to go? Doesn’t matter where we are if we don’t know where we’re going. We’re already there.
Action -> Goals -> Mission -> Vision. Don’t overthink it, but be thoughtful and diligent. Words matter. Do what’s difficult.