How to Write a Professional Mission Statement
Have you ever thought of where you want to be in future in your career line? Well, if you have never, then you need a mission statement. A professional mission statement gives you clarity and a sense of purpose. It defines your identity and the way you intend to live in order to achieve your vision. Since everyone needs a sense of purpose in life, it is important to master how to write a professional mission statement in shaping a road map that guides your life.
Throughout this writing manual, you will find simplified tips and strategies you can employ to develop and outstanding mission statement. What is more? We have Sir Richard Branson’s mission statement for you to have a taste.
Important guidelines on how to write a professional mission statement
A personal mission statement forms the foundation of a person’s life. However, as you may be aware, creating this statement can be astounding. It is not an easy task. Above all else, you need reflection, time and inspiration to come up with a meaningful statement that gives you a sense of purpose.
Here are tips on how to write a professional mission statement. Apply each one of them and overcome the challenges you have. Let’s go…
Have an inventory of your strengths and values. A good starting point when creating your mission statement is by noting down your personality traits, virtues and character strengths. This forms the basis of who you are, affects your worldview, dictates your behavior and determines what is important to you.
Examples of character strengths and values may include:
- Critical thinking
- Love of learning
Identify your priorities. The second step when working on your mission statement is defining personal and professional priorities. Try to establish where you want your energy, time and resources to go. Priorities are like the backbone of your sense of purpose in life.
Gather information. With your priorities and character strengths in place, it is time to put together all the information you will need and begin writing. As you do this, remember that the main purpose of your mission statement should be the impact you want your life to make.
At its minimum, a mission statement not only defines you but also differentiates you from the rest of the world. Among other things, it declares who you are, the person you want to be, what you want to do with your life at personal and professional level.
With the three stages, you should be able to start drafting your mission statement. Analyze the following example as you think about how to write a professional mission statement before your life is wasted.
Example #1Mission Statement
“To be an agent of positive change in my family, work and society.”
As captured by d.umn.edu, the author of this mission statement explains how he plans to become an instrument of change by using God-given talents and participate in all dimensions of life with energy and gratitude. From this example, you can clearly tell where the person wants to be and the impact he wants to make with his life.
Reasons why everyone, INCLUDING YOU, needs a professional Mission Statement
Did you know that even the most influential personalities in the world, like presidents and CEOs of leading multinationals have mission statements? This should probably send a message; everyone needs a sense of purpose in life to prosper.
This section of the guide focuses on the benefits of having a good mission statement. Examine it keenly to understand how a mission statement could be the only wall between you and your success.
Importance of a mission statement
It aligns you. A mission statement will ensure that what you think, say and do is connected. This eliminates the case of wishing to become something in life but you never inject the required effort to propel you to that place.
It is a source of energy and inspiration. If you are looking for a job, a mission statement will remind you of your source of energy and inspiration as you find the right job. It creates a link between the times you have felt on purpose in life and brings you to where you belong when you are discouraged and confused.
It will guide you in decision-making. Practically, a mission statement is a major tool in the process of decision-making. Once you have one, it becomes your reference point in life as you transit through different stages of your search, prioritizing that which is important and analyzing different opportunities as they come. With this, you will overcome the pressure of doing what is easy instead of what is important.
Personal statements of TOP CEOs, and why you should write yours
As you go through these guidelines on how to write a professional mission statement, it is important that you take a breather and digest sample statements from top CEOs you admire.
Have you ever asked yourself what drives Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, Oprah Winfrey of OWN, and Denise Morrison, of Campbell Soup Company? Well, here are their Professional Mission Statements and what they think about their future as captured on fastcompany.com. Take a look:
Denise Morrison, CEO, Campbell Soup Company
“To be a leader, live a holistic life and employ moral values to impact the society.”
According to Morrison, you can only lead others if you have a firm sense of your identity and what you stand for. She also believes that a balanced life encompasses all spheres, including academic, physical, and spiritual in order to realize a sense of well-being.
Oprah Winfrey, Founder, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
“To be a teacher and inspire my students to become everything they never thought they could be.”
In an interview with O Magazine, Oprah revealed how her granny’s house chores changed her perspective about life. She purposed to make a difference by becoming a teacher even though she never imagined being on TV.
Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
“To have fun in life and learn from personal mistakes.”
From the mission statement, Branson believes in enjoying life. He however noted that as a CEO, the greatest responsibility is bringing out the best in people by listening to them, trusting them and believing in them.
Now you have it….
Are you feeling energized to write your professional mission statement? Well, the three CEOs are just a tip of the iceberg. While their sense of purpose might not be perfect, they should help you figure out how to write a professional mission statement that will turn around your life and become the next Bill Gates. Do it! Listen to that inner voice…have a sense of purpose in life.
A more simplified process of writing a professional Mission Statement
The following is another approach you should consider as you work on your professional mission statement. It is simple and to the point. Read and apply it.
STEP 1: Capture past success. You know yourself and the milestones you have made in life. Reflect on recent years and write down four or five achievements you can vividly recall. The success could be at your workplace, family or in your community. As you note them, establish any theme that you can notice.
STEP 2: Identify your core values. List down those attributes that define who you are and what you stand for. The list can be endless to ensure that you capture all your attributes. Narrow down to five to six most important values. Finally, try to choose that single value that defines you.
STEP 3: List down contributions. Come up with a list of ways you could influence the world in general, your family, friends, community and workplace.
STEP 4: What are your goals? Take time and meditate on your life to identify your priorities and the vision you have. Make a list of short and long-term goals in your life.
STEP 5: Write your mission statement. With the four steps above and the knowledge, you have gained in this handout on how to write a professional mission statement, you are ready to make a draft.
More examples of professional mission statements
“To live an honest and compassionate life that is real and with the belief that everything is possible as long as you remain on course.” Adapted from quintcareers.com.
“To always, remember where I have come from and where I am going by nurturing good relationships with family and friends….. missionstatements.com.
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