Photo by Hillary Ehlen
They say that a mission statement is one of the most important aspects of a business and, as a mission-driven company, we cannot help but agree. For over 38 years, our mission has been our trusty guide through it all. When times are tough, it has carried us through. When things are going well, it has helped us soar. However, with all the uncertainty and instability that the COVID-19 pandemic brings, remaining mission-driven is not always easy. It can be tempting to divert our attention to an immediate need and lose track of the reason we exist.
Throughout this time, we have worked tirelessly to fight this temptation and rely on our mission. By constantly bringing it to our attention, we have come to better understand its power and abilities. Not only that, but we have had the privilege of working with hundreds of innovative and inspiring entrepreneurs throughout the state who have shown us just how critical a mission statement can be. Taking what we have learned, we want to share with you a few of the ways your mission can help drive you through this pandemic as well.
- Set it as your foundation – Your mission statement acts as a solid foundation that holds everything together. It summarizes who you are and what you are designed to do and, in times like this, it can be used to your advantage. You can use your mission statement as a template to decide how you react and respond to everything that is thrown your way. Say yes to the ideas that align with your mission. Pass along the ideas that may steer you in a different direction. Whatever comes your way, be sure to stay on track, remain disciplined, and keep your mission at the forefront of everything you do. It may just be the one thing that gets you through to the other side.
- Use it to guide you forward – Not only can your mission statement help you stay on track when times are ever-changing, it can also help you determine how you can move forward. Take time to dissect your mission statement and discuss what it truly means. Then, get creative in how you execute that mission.
- Own a coffee shop or pub with a mission to foster community? Offer online “happy hour” events.
- Run a dog-training company with a vision to help your clients’ pets grow? Make videos to teach your clients how they can continue to train their dogs at home.
- Have a photography business with a mission to capture some of life’s most memorable moments? Try out Zoom or front-porch photography sessions to document this crazy time.
You may not be able to carry out your mission the way you always have, but do not let that stop you from continuing to do what your company does best. Allow your mission to show you how you can continue serving your customers in a different way.
- Share the vision – Each and every one of your employees plays an important part of your mission in some way. Whether they are on the frontlines making sales and providing services or doing some of the critical background tasks that makes those sales and services possible, your company’s mission statement is just as much theirs as it is everybody else’s. Take time to regularly dissect your mission as a team and discuss what it looks like in practice. Ask your employees and coworkers to hold each other accountable in keeping the mission at the forefront of everything you do and pick their brains for new opportunities in which you can execute that mission during these uncertain and unprecedented times. Allowing them to take part in this process helps them connect with the mission and drives the company forward.
Staying focused on your mission, especially in times like this, can be a difficult task. But whether you have been mission-driven from the start or today is your first day, know that it is never too late to start focusing on who you are and what you are made to do. Let your mission drive you during this time and see where you end up!