What Is Your Mission Statement (Transcription)
Hi this Dr. Ron Kaiser with your September 2011 podcast from The Mental Health Gym. This month’s podcast is entitled what is your mission statement? I suspect that for vast majority of you, you not only don’t have a mission statement but probably have never thought about it. Yet it is a very common thing in industry. Every major company has mission statement and some of them are pretty long and involves, and some of them are pretty short but all of them are designed to really discuss their core values and their aspirations and build in a notion of their reason for existence and how they plan to move ahead.
For example I caught sight a couple of them CVS the pharmacy chain has very short mission statement. It says that we will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use. While the statement itself is very short it obviously leads to being able to set up certain kinds of goals and behaviors that will make the pharmacy more accessible, it will make finding products more accessible and hopefully provide the kind of help that really will make it the easiest shopping experience for any customer. If not they are not meeting their mission and they have to go back and look this. Some industries and some companies have much more complex mission statements and pretty much spell out a lot of the behaviors or at least give more of a clue to them.
For example AVON products the major drug selling company for women’s cosmetics has very detailed mission statement and I’ll try to read it carefully. Its mission statement states that AVON is the global beauty leader. We want to build a unique portfolio of beauty and related brands striving to surpass our competitors in quality, innovation and value. And elevating our image to image to become a beauty company most women turn to worldwide. Also they want to become the women’s choice for buying. We will become the destination store for women offering the convenience of multiple brands and channels and providing a personal high touch shopping experience that helps create lifelong customer relationships. Also part of the mission statement is to be the premier direct seller.
We will expand our presence in direct selling and lead the reinvention of the channel offering an entrepreneurial opportunity that delivers a superior earnings, recognition, service and support. Making it easy and rewarding to be affiliated with AVON and elevating the image of our industry. Next, the best place to work. We will be known for our leadership etched through our passion for high standards, our respect for diversity and our commitment to create exceptional opportunities for professional growth so that associates can fulfill their highest potential, also, the largest women’s foundation, we will be a committed global champion for the health and well being of women through philanthropic efforts that eliminate breast cancer from the face of the earth and that empower women to achieve economic independence and finally the most admired company.
We will deliver superior returns to our share holders by tirelessly pursuing new growth opportunities while continually continuing our profitability, a socially responsible ethical company that is watched and emulated as a model for success. Now that may be a rather long winded but it’s quite complete and offers the basis for measuring whether AVON does its job. Mission statements have not been a common aspect of individual development. Very few theories, very few people have promoted the idea of personal mission statements. Steven Covey who wrote the seven habits of highly effective people is one of the people who have promoted the idea of a personal mission statement.
There have been certain other motivational writers and speakers who do so. In my concept of goal achieving psychotherapy I believe that the mission statements is rather important thing to consider because in our approach through goal achieving psychotherapy in the mental health gym we stress the importance of setting goals and taking small steps practicing but always looking forward for achieving those goals. A personal mission statement gives us the framework against which to plot those goals and to make sure that our goals fit in with our core values.
If we have a specific statement of mission then it’s relatively easier to establish the kind of goals that we would want to pursue in order to fulfill that mission and consequently I encourage all of us to think about establishing and writing down a mission statement. As you’ve seen from corporate examples, the mission statement can be very brief and it can be quite detailed. My general preference is for a four part mission statement. Essentially four sentences that cover four general areas of thinking, I don’t think a mission statement is a fixed commodity per se I do think that you can change it I’ll give you an example, my mission statement, but I change mine from time to time and might be different next week than it is today, but I do think it has certain core values that tend to remain and kind of guide the mission statement and help me to determine what behaviors I’m doing so I can access whether I’m really living up to my mission and whether I’m setting goals that go in the direction of my mission. I believe that the four parts that makes sense in mission statement are the things that you are saying about yourself, you’re… in essence, mission to yourself, your duty to yourself the kind of person that you see yourself and as aspire to be.
The second are is relationship to others, whether that be family members, friends, and greater community and so on. A third area is the area of career and for those of you whose career doesn’t involve paid work, it basically should involve what else you’re going to be doing in terms of hobbies and trust volunteer work and so on. And finally I like a mission statement to say something about the future. So it should be addressing self, other people, career or associated activities and your future. I think that gives a basis for a well rounded mission statement that doesn’t have to get too entailed and is also changeable.
For example and I don’t hold myself out as being the greatest mission statement writer or having the greatest missions or ones that you would necessarily wanna emulate but I thought to give you a sense of a mission statement I would run through mine to the extent that I can articulate it as I would like to, but again keep in mind for parts; self, other people, career and future. And here’s mine. I’m committed to maximizing my physical, mental and spiritual health and living my life with self esteem, happiness, productivity and integrity. Part two is I give love, time, respect and any guidance that may be sought to my wife, children and grandchildren. I’m committed to being a good friend and involve and an involved participant in any group to which I belong I treat all individuals with respect. Third and this is the area where we’re talking about career. I’m committed to continue to grow and learn and develop in my career and to give my best professional efforts to my patients, trainees and colleagues.
To the extent that I have new and creative things to say professionally, I’m committed to the advancement of those ideas so that more people can be helped by them and finally the future. I recognize that a little more mature in years than some of you so you may have some additional aspirational goals but my statement is I will do my best to stay healthy, productive, positive, playful and involve with others as long as I can. Retirement is not in my foreseeable future. So there you’ve got it. It’s not a brilliant thing. It’s not something that would necessarily fit your needs or ideas your aspirations but it works for me.
It gives me the core values to ensure that I do go to the gym a few times a weeks, that I do yoga every week, that I try maintain a healthy diet, that I approach my patients when I’m working with them with the attitude that they are the most important, each patient is the most important person and that while I’m with them there’s nothing else that I would rather than be spending that time. I try to live that because that’s part of my core values. I try to grow in my career because I believe I have some unique things to say and this website and these podcasts represent one of the avenues for saying that. As I’ve indicated, I’ve kind of developed a lot of my ideas into a concept that I call goal achieving psychotherapy and you’ll be hearing more about that in future months on the website and blogs, podcasts and in my newsletters.
In the meantime though I think the first essential step is to look at ourselves, identify our core values, aspirations and to come up with the workable mission statement and I think everything else will flow from that. I think it will lead to personal growth, to happiness, to the kind of proactive and positive efforts that ultimately lead to success and to happiness. That’s the summary of my thinking for this month around the concept of personal mission statement.
This is Dr. Ron Kaiser I’ve enjoyed spending this time, suggesting another hopefully new idea maybe getting you thinking about doing a personal mission statement, as always I would be glad to advice and correspond with you if you start thinking about it, if you have some questions, if you get stuck and have other ideas to add to what I’ve said. I appreciate those of you who stay with the website, listen to podcasts and help me to grow through your ideas. I’ll look forward to talking with you again next month.