Monday, June 22, 2009

What is Your Mission?

Simple questions are the hardest to answer. Simple questions can be profound, and answering them requires us to make stark, honest, and sometimes painful self-assessments.

This week, I’m asking you to ponder 5 simple but deeply challenging questions first posed by Peter Drucker in “The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Nonprofit Organization” in 1999. Many of today’s best and brightest minds ask these questions of themselves and their organizations constantly. Don’t you think the church should do any less?

Each social sector institution exists to make a distinctive difference in the lives of individuals and in society. Making this difference is the mission – the organization’s purpose and very reason for being. A mission cannot be impersonal; it has to have deep meaning, be something you believe in – something you know is right. A fundamental responsibility of leadership is to make sure that everybody knows the mission, understands it, and lives it.

To have an effective mission, you have to work out an exacting match of your opportunities, competence, and commitment. Every good mission statement reflects all three. With the limited resources you have - not just people and money, but also competence - where can you dig in and make a difference? Where can you set a new standard of performance? What really inspires your commitment?

What is your mission?

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