I spend a lot of time working on corporate mission statements. My rules are very simple for a corporate statement. The statement must be short (no more than seven to ten words), be integrated in everything the company does and describe the overarching function of the company. For example, our firm’s mission statement is to help make our Clients lives better.
This brings me to the following question; is it important for a family and an individual to also have a mission statement? For me, the answer on the personal front is an absolute yes. And, if we’re going to have a cohesive family the answer for a family mission statement is also a yes.
Both a family and personal mission statement must follow the rules of a corporate statement. This way you and your family will have a clear understanding of whether you are doing the things that are important to you and your family.
I’ve recently been in a discussion about “lifestyle” businesses and whether they are good or bad. The answer to the good or bad is that they’re neither. At the same time, if a “lifestyle” business doesn’t have a good mission statement, the owner is missing out on helping to define for themselves and others what’s important in their business, which often is an extension of themselves.
The same is true for our families. We only get one chance to get it right when it comes to our family. If everyone in the family understands the family mission and fully buys into it, then I believe there is a better chance for long-term harmony.
I also believe that a good family mission statement must be formed after each member of the family has put together their own personal mission statement. The family mission statement must take all the personal missions into account if it’s going to work.
Again, remember all of the mission statements must be short and to the point. My personal mission statement is to do interesting things with interesting people. Now, it’s time for me to work on our family’s statement.
As always, I’m interested in your thoughts. Please send me an email at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com.