In the corporate world, vision and mission statements provide riverbanks that keep companies moving in the right direction and help organizations reach their goals. I believe they can do the same thing for our relationships and families.
In my coaching practice as I work with people on relationship matters, I have discovered that very few of them have vision and mission statements for their relationships. It has just not been taught in that context.
It may sound crazy at first, but vision and mission statements can have tremendous value for families. They create a ‘pulling together’ response rather than ‘drifting apart’. To live without purpose is like climbing into a dingy and being set adrift in an ocean. The current of life’s circumstances and troubles will take you and your family wherever it goes. You will simply drift from here to there and may ultimately drift apart.
It is important to move from individual goals to united ‘group’ goals. This means you fight for ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.
To fully understand the power of vision and mission statements we need define them. Successful leaders, by means of carefully chosen and inspiring words, convey the direction of their organization. Similarly, by crafting clear mission and vision statements, you can powerfully communicate your intentions and motivate your team, family or organization to have a common vision for the future.
A vision is a statement of what you want to accomplish. It explains in a sentence what you envision for the future. A mission is a statement of how you will accomplish the vision. Examples of vision and mission statements: Amazon – “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” Nike – “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Starbucks – “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time”.
Imagine the power of that for your relationships. WOW!
By now you may be saying, “Mark, what are yours?” I’m glad you asked. The Gordon clan’s Vision Statement is: “To live to reveal the innate value of every person and the value of Faith to every person.” Our Mission: “We are committed to making a difference in the world by having healthy relationships and a loving family who will serve our community with honor and integrity.” These two statements guide our decision-making and keep us pulling together to making a difference. When we struggle in our relationships or find ourselves in difficult circumstances, we revisit these statements and then make the decision to live them out.
This worked very dramatically a couple of years ago. There was some tension between my wife and me, and by ‘some’ I mean ‘a lot’! It was affecting our home life. Our youngest daughter had finally had enough and called her married siblings to do an intervention. They sat Mom and Dad down and reminded us what kind of family we were, and that our actions were not lining up with our family’s mission. To say the least, it got our attention and we were able to get to the root of the tension. I am so grateful that my kids have the freedom to hold us accountable to the vision and mission statements that guide us as a family. I encourage you to sit down with your family and craft a vision and mission statement for your relationships.
In my seminar Relationship Matters @ Home, we give you a detailed outline of how to do that. Or you can register for personal coaching and I will take you through the process, providing some great tools along the way. Just visit my website at www.markgordon.ca and you will get information and schedules of available workshops. Or send me a message for personal coaching. You can also follow me on Twitter @rmarkgordon.