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Leadership Mom: Mission

Continuing on in our Leadership Mom series...

Before we begin to develop our family's Mission Statement, let's take another look at our Vision Statement:

Vision Statement:
Our family exists to learn, grow, and live life filled with curiosity, fun, good health, and love for God and all of His creations.

As previously mentioned, this is the ideal of what we would like our family to be (future-focused).  If we were living in a perfect world, this would be us.

The Mission Statement, while similar, describes the why - or purpose - of our organization/family.  It describes what we do and how we do it, as well as our values.  Therefore, the first question I have to ask is, "What does my family do?"  Let's think big picture here.  This isn't the details of daily life: driving kids to activities, going to school, making meals, doing laundry, etc.  Let's think bigger.  Here, you may want to work together with your family to write down some ideas.  You can start with the daily details and then start thinking bigger.

For example, my kids might say they go to school...that is what they do.  So, I can then ask them, "Why?".  And, they might respond, "to learn."  I can keep asking them "why?" until we get to the big picture of why we do what we do.  This may be answered in one or two why's, but it may also take more.  Keep asking the why's until you feel like you've reached the "Aha!" moment.  Then, take a look at something else you do, and start again.

As we continue to question what we do, we'll start to see that many of the things we do on a daily basis serve the same larger picture goal.  Some activities may also serve multiple purposes.  I drive my kids to school because I want them to attend school and get a good education, but also because I want to spend more time with them than have them sitting on a bus for an hour twice a day.  Another reason I drive my kids to school is to save the money it costs to get a bus pass.  I, ultimately, want to save money so that my family can save for family vacations and extracurricular activities.  I want to do this so that they can learn and have a diversity of experiences.

You don't have to have the perfect "mom answer" for these why questions.  If you're just going with the socially acceptable answer, then your mission statement won't really be about your will be about the family you think your family needs to be based on social pressure.  And, if you're trying to be something you aren't, then we're back to our Lightning McQueen example.  At the end of the road, no one is happy.

During this mission planning time, be real with your family and truly ask what you do and why you do it.  Perhaps you'll realize that you're doing something that doesn't serve a purpose.  Perhaps you realize that something you didn't think serves a purpose is really fulfilling one of your greatest purposes. 

When you've gotten to the ultimate "why" statements, jot them down for the start of your mission statement and then ask the question "How."  How do we do these things?  Is it through trust as a family, commitment to the purpose.  Look at the values that you have as a family to answer this how.  Which values are most evident in your actions.
Sample Values

After you've answered the "how," you have one more question to ask. Why? ...again.  As you read your mission statement so far, think about why you have written it down.  What is the ultimate why of your mission?  Once you and your family have answered this question, write it down. 

Now, re-read the mission statement you've written be sure everyone in the family is on board with it, and then post it somewhere in your house so that you can continually remember who you are as a family, what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. 

From this mission statement, you can evaluate every other activity that you do to see if it is truly fulfilling your mission.  If it isn't, it's probably a stressor that you can eliminate.  By continually keeping your family's mission at the front of your mind, you can become a more effective and efficient organization - operating to your greatest capacity.

My Family's Mission:
Our family lives, works, and grows together through respect, encouragement, enjoyment and inquisitiveness so that we can honor God, each other, our community, and our world.

Be sure to keep following this #LeadershipMom series for strategies and tactics to help you reach your goals and stay focused on the mission.


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