Creating a family mission statement is important, yet few families have them. Of the families that do, even fewer, can recite theirs by heart. Leadership Expert, Zig Ziglar, highlights the problem with this in his famous quote, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Getting to where we want to go is precisely why corporations, individuals, and families all need a clear mission.
During our Thriving at Home Summit, I had the opportunity of connecting with Kirby Ingles. Kirby provides high-potential, busy corporate managers with results-driven, laser-focused coaching in 30-minutes. His creative problem-solving approach, combined with an enthusiastic style, helps people transform into effective, inspiring, and successful leaders.
During our conversation, Kirby took applied his results-oriented corporate wisdom to families. The two of us dove into what a family mission statement is, why it matters, and a step-by-step process for creating one. Here are some of the key insights Kirby shared!
Family Missions Made Easy
A family mission statement is an ever-evolving process and not a one-time event. This is good news because it means your statement doesn’t have to be perfect. It can also change over time. Understanding this takes some of the pressure off.
When crafting your family mission, remember that something is almost always better than doing nothing. So don’t wait for everything to be perfect. The most important step is to start!
Family Mission Statement Insights
- Creating a family mission statement is a process of building, growing, and creating together. The mission statement is the family’s foundation and should contain its purpose. Embedded in this statement are the family’s core values and strengths.
- Having a family mission statement is like putting up the kiddie bumpers at the bowling alley. The statement keeps the family on target and out of the gutters.
- A family mission statement makes it easy to say “Yes” to the things that align with their mission and “No” to things that don’t. A shared mission will help your family say “No” to some really good things so that you can say “Yes,” to the best things. This is also known as having good boundaries. Boundaries are important because there are more good things available for families than ever before. In today’s fast-paced society, families must practice saying “No,” to the good so they can say “Yes” to the best!
- A family mission statement is like a GPS. It helps families stay on the straight and narrow while avoiding the scenic route’s twists and turns.
Mission Statement Core Values
One of the primary ingredients of the family mission statement is the family’s core values. Your family may have anywhere between 20-100+ different values. Crafting a mission statement will help you focus on the ones that matter most.
One of the easiest ways to create a family mission statement is to start by identifying your top 3-5 values. Discover these by answering the question “If your family was a billboard on a busy interstate, what would you want people to see?” A few possible family values include:
- Self-less service
- Honest Communication
It’s OK for a mission statement to be simple. During our conversation, Kirby shared his family mission of “Love each other and grow together.” The goal of creating a family mission statement is to have a rallying cry that brings the family together. This means that a simple and memorable statement is better than one that’s complex and easily forgotten.
A family mission statement creates a ripple effect in the home. If you cast a stone in the water, it sends out ripples. So what are your stones going to be? What ripples do you and your family want to create?
Not only does a shared mission provide a clear direction, but it’s also energizing. Mission statements help families to stay motivated!
Crafting Your Family Mission Statment
- To create your family mission statement, start by getting away. This makes it easier to stay focused, connect with each other, and have your own mini-brainstorming session.
- Then, generate values individually. Think of as many as you can.
- After this, come together to share. Expect your ideas to be different. You and your loved one come from different backgrounds, so differences should be expected.
- Parents can bring their kids into the process. This is especially important if you want to get buy-in from your teens.
- After getting input from everyone, list all of your different values on a single sheet of paper. Then, look for reoccurring themes. See if there are 1-2 defining values that everyone thinks are important. After that, narrow down your list to the top 3-5.
- Next, comes the crafting of the mission statement itself. Think big picture. Where do you and your family want to be in the next 3-5 years or even the next 3-5 generations? A total of 3-5 value words should be embedded in your family mission statement.
- Finally, craft your family mission statement into a bumper-sticker slogan that can be used as a rallying cry when your family needs it the most.
Putting Your Family Mission into Action
Once your mission statement is complete, use it often. Speak it out loud. Create a family cheer. Post it in your home where it will be seen often. And revisit your mission statement repeatedly (monthly or yearly updates are recommended). This way, your mission statement can develop with you as you grow.
As your family changes, so will your mission. Even if you don’t feel like you got everything right the first time, you can relax and celebrate. Your family mission statement is an ongoing process and not a one-time event.
The good news is that you don’t have to get everything perfect. And even if you do, your mission will change over time. The bottom line is that when it comes to creating a family mission, the most important thing is to start!
Continuing the Conversation
- Do you already have a family mission statement?
- What ideas in this post resonated with you the most?
- What was your mission statement creation process like?
- Are there any thoughts that you would add to this post?
Jenny and I would love to hear from you and continue the conversation in the comments below!