What is Your Mission?
Without a Mission Where are you Going?
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we have dreams, goals, a mission and a vision. On the surface, it looks like we are an auto body shop in Billings. It looks like our goal is to fix cars. But if you stop in and talk with those who work here, you will notice that there is more to our business. You will discover that we have a mission that is ingrained in our employees so that each one of them takes ownership and leadership of the job that they do.
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we train leaders. We just happen to be good at fixing cars. What we want to know is whether or not you have a mission for your business, your career, or your “job.” If you don’t, then take some time to develop one. It will help you on your journey to excellence.
What is a Mission?
Most commonly you hear the terms mission and vision together. Generally it is when you are talking about mission and vision statements. They have become buzzwords and are relatively meaningless to many people. The reason: those companies, professionals, and individuals don’t take them to heart. They are words strung together for the sake of sounding good. For example:
“To create a shopping experience that pleases our customers; a workplace that creates opportunities and a great working environment for our associates; and a business that achieves financial success.”
Can you guess which company strung together those buzzwords? It came from this article on Inc. Magazine about the worst mission statements of all time. There are others on there, but this one is a great example of why you need to put some thought into this. Let’s dissect it.
“To create a shopping experience that pleases our customers” – Would any business intentionally drive their customers away by creating a hostile shopping environment?
“a workplace that creates opportunities and a great working environment” – There are companies that create a bad working environment, but for a successful business it’s a given that the employees like it there.
“a business that achieves financial success” – Isn’t that the point of being in business?
Basically this mission statement could blanket every single retail store out there. Your mission should be more defined, better honed, and more honest with what you actually seek to achieve.
A good mission is one that defines your business and feels like a strategy. It’s not for the customers as much as it is for you and your employees to know where you are going.
How to Define Your Mission
Your mission encompasses two main points: where is your company going, and what are your values? If you can define this in a sentence or two, then you have an amazing goal that you are able to work toward. But how do you narrow it down? How do you condense the mission to something that is easier to digest? Here’s how to get started.
Define Your Why – Simon Sinek has an excellent Ted Talk about your Why. Your mission should focus on your why instead of your what and your how. The what and how really shouldn’t even enter the equation. If you have no idea what we mean, then take a look at the video embedded below.
Become a Servant – Every business is a service business. If you sell goods, your service is to make the life of the shopper easier. If you manufacture, your service is to provide the goods. If you provide a service, your service is to provide that service. You are a servant: how does your business put the client or customer at the top of the pedestal and make their life better and easier?
Get some Culture – Employee culture is another buzzword that is overused. But it’s important to define. Does your company let the employee bring dogs to work? That’s a nice perk, but it’s not culture. What are you striving for as a work family? What do you want to see in your colleagues?
It’s about Image – Growing up we are constantly told to not worry about image and to be real. But reality is that our image is how people perceive us. Your mission should be a snapshot into the life of your business. People should be able to read it and understand what you’re all about.
Now here’s the hard part: answer all of these questions and condense your mission down to one or two short sentences. Something easy to remember, something catchy for clients, and something that tells exactly who you are and what you are doing.
Remember, a mission statement isn’t static. It can change with the ebbs and flows of business. The important part is to think about this, write it down, create it, customize it, re-write it, refine it, and condense it. Make it yours, make it what your company is all about, and make it real.
Big Sky Collision Center Happens to Fix Cars
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we are all about training leaders. From the guy that empties the garbage cans, to the guy in the office making the big decisions, everyone is trained as a leader. The result is a culture where employees make a difference, love what they do, and take ownership. That spills over into customers being treated extremely well. We just happen to be good at fixing and detailing cars.
What’s your mission?