If your personal mission doesn’t align with your company mission, your days with that company will likely be limited. I’ve seen it unfold like clockwork in my time in corporate leadership – you can only sacrifice yourself and your values for so long.
A company’s mission statement outlines the company’s business. It illuminates a goal and defines a strategy for reaching that goal. It points to both the current status of the company and where it is going. Having these statements clearly lined out provides employees with a specific goal to attain, promoting efficiency and productivity. But what about your personal mission statement?
I have found that it’s more likely you know your company’s mission than your personal one, which can prove to be a great shortcoming for your life. Most companies review their mission statements as often as possible to ensure that their business dealings are consistent with who they’ve said they want to be. Companies often share their mission statements and personal statements should be no different.
Making a personal mission statement helps to clearly define your personal goals. It allows you to more readily dismiss distractions that creep in and provides a clear pathway toward your personal success. It enables you to identify areas you want to improve in your career, work ethic, or daily productivity. Personal mission statements are critical because:
- They define and explain why you do what you do
- They keep you focused and on track during tough times
- They serve as your foundation
- They make decision-making simpler
- They keep you focused on pursuing the things that make you happy
- They give you a clearly defined outline for the future
I know first-hand what it feels like to be neck-deep in an organization, having invested a lot of time and personal resources into what I believed to be a bright future, only to find out that their business mission is contradictory to my personal mission. Often these situations arise because of poor communication – but what results is a whole lot of heartache.
The point at which you realize that where your company is going is not matching up with who you are as a person is also the exact point where action must be taken. If you don’t take action, the pressure will build and an emotional response will come out in one way or another. Acting early on and tapping into your first instincts when something seems awry is the best way to lead with your rational brain before your emotions get involved.
Your job is about more than your salary. People leave companies all the time to make less money. In the current climate, about 50% of Americans have either switched jobs or are considering it. It is becoming more common to move companies, making it easier than ever to ensure you are at a company whose values align with your own.
What makes your blood boil? That’s a great starting point to discover your passions. When you exhibit anger or annoyance, it’s usually because one of your values has been violated. Trace that emotion back to how you think things should be, and you’ll likely find some of your core values.
What qualities do you appreciate in others or in a company? What qualities do you not appreciate? What do you think is acceptable, and what do you refuse to tolerate? Why? These are questions, but skip over too often.
When you think about what could be different in the world, what comes to mind? Is the company mission a part of solving any of those problems? Imagine what it would be like to accomplish your work with your personal mission completely aligned with your company vision. This is a springboard to joy and potential.
Make your personal mission statement a priority and revisit it frequently. Don’t let months or years slip by without you realizing that you’re fighting a losing battle of values with your company: make a change. In aligning your personal mission with your professional mission, you give yourself the opportunity for a bigger impact, greater job satisfaction, and overall life happiness.
Martin Rowinski is a technology executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience. His background ranges from serving as CTO, developing and implementing strategic processes, deploying new products to streamline services, and improving growth in lead generation and sales in the fields of recruiting, finance, technology, marketing and mortgage lending. Martin is CEO of the executive recruitment firm, Boardsi, and Author of The Corporate Matchmaker.