Entrepreneur, business person, and IBEC board member, Dave Kier, challenges us again in this Leadership Tip.
Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures
You would be surprised how many go to work without understanding their purpose. Corporate leaders establish a mission statement that sounds grand and noble, but as time goes by, they unintentionally put aside the vision they cast. Worse, few in the company know the company’s mission statement. What’s the point of such a statement if it isn’t shared and doesn’t come alive? Below was the mission statement for my company:
“It is the desire of DFS Inc. to be an indispensable ally to producers, honoring God in all that we do”
It’s short but has some big words. At quarterly all-company meetings I wanted every person in the company to know they were important and necessary to fulfill a grand purpose. I would ask for their feedback on how we were doing at fulfilling our mission. I didn’t want us to take our eyes off the role we had in human food production. We weren’t merely making feed for an animal; we were providing the fuel (nutrients) to animals that in turn became protein to feed their families and families around the world. But more importantly, we delivered integrity, and we held each other accountable to ensure we were constantly striving to become more essential to the producer as well as a company that honors God in every aspect of our work.
Does your entire staff understand why your organization exists? Have you established clarity in your church, your business or whatever ministry you are involved with? That’s right, business should be seen as a ministry. It’s not easy to maintain this clarity. We get so caught up in producing, that we don’t take time to ensure all understand the grand vision and their role in fulfilling it. All too often, the workforce then becomes disconnected from the company’s vision to simply come to work for a paycheck, feeling as though they are insignificant.
I have asked leaders what they do in an organization to listen to them fumble with words describing the scope of their responsibilities. You have heard the story of years ago, when a man stopped by a construction site and asked the first worker what he did. Not bothering to look up, he replied that he cut stones. He asked the next person what he did, and he succinctly replied that he laid the stones. He then asked the third person what he did. He stood erect to proudly state he was building a majestic cathedral. Leaders, you must have clarity in your organization. Clarity of purpose, clarity of roles and clarity of outcomes, but a warning – if you focus primarily on financial outcomes, you will have a frustrated organization.
The Lord gave us a mission statement: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Mt. 28:19-20)”. It’s simple, it’s clear, it’s grand. Too often, we say we place our faith in the Lord, and then go about life laying aside who we are and why we were saved. We do this in business too.
- Is it clear what your people are building? Are you clear?
- Do you work with the end in mind, or do you and others come to work every day to merely lay one stone on top of another?
- When was the last time you led your staff in a discussion on fulfilling the mission?