For many years in the nonprofit world, one of my favorite tasks was to help Boards and groups in a Mission Statement and Vision for their nonprofit.
Sometimes this came under the umbrella of a board retreat or just because the nonprofit was embarking on new leadership, etc. Helping people go through this process was always fascinating to me, as personalities can really overpower a group quickly.
Over the years of being in business, Marc and I have discovered that a Strategic Plan can be the single most helpful task in helping to focus goals and a purpose for doing what you have set out to do by working together.
Strategic Planning is a bit different than setting goals. Although those things can become part of the outcome of the process, it isn’t the function of the plan. The beginning (and most important part) of any strategic plan is to create a Mission Statement. From that ‘Purpose’ you can envision a future of where your marriage and your business will be going.
Developing a mission and vision for your business or your marriage becomes the very core of your value system and the reason for doing what you are doing.
When you say to love, cherish and honor your spouse, that is not the same as ‘I see our life together as …….”
There are multitudes of tools to use for your marriage and/or business. There also are a myriad of powerful motivational speakers that all teach a form of strategic planning and most are good.
We have found a simple way to start creating a Mission is to use a piece of paper with the following grid:
Each person in the relationship spends at least 30 minutes filling out the grid. Then, in comparing answers, you can work toward every person’s mission for the business (or marriage). This takes time to brainstorm, compare and share, negotiate, agree on preferred language and completed statement.
As you work this process, you will begin to see what your Core Values for your business and your personal relationships are together. Again, don’t hurry this process – your very Purpose is at stake here.
Once those are decided, every decision about your marriage and business goes to that Mission. There really is more to the process than it sounds here; we often spend more than a dedicated day to addressing just these things. But this gives you an idea of possible ways to get started.
After you create your marriage Mission and your business Mission you can go on to create a Vision for your future. There are exercises for this purpose, and we may share those at another time.
Just because your Mission Statement is now on paper and designed into a really cool looking infographic, doesn’t really mean much if you don’t actually put them into practice.
That requires discipline. And goals to measure whether you are living out your Mission and Core Values.
And that is another topic, for another day.