What’s Your Mission?

This segment has little to do with the business of Real Estate, but more to do with businesses in general. In fact it has more to do with people and the relationships that can and are formed through businesses.

Earlier this month, along with my brainstorming mastermind group, I spent two full days in an amazing and intensive learning session with Anurag Gupta of The Difference Engine.

Anurag focuses on creating better businesses. His attitude is that you can have fun in life or struggle in life, but either way you are going to pass on. Therefore you might as well have a great life and if you are creating a business then create a great business that supports you and you better have fun doing it. I would like to share with you some of what I learned.

One of the key principles is being clear about our Mission and Vision. Once we have clarity about these two key points then we can build the right architecture and environment for a successful business that consistently delivers on our mission and vision.

One of the many key points made during the two day event that stuck with me was that if our businesses were our product most of our businesses would fail, because most of us are focused on the widget/product and not our business which is the delivery point of the product.

What is our client experience? What is our staffs’ experience? What is our suppliers’ experience? What do they see, read, hear, feel when they interact with us?

I am sure if you are like me you have had many instances in your lives where you may have been so disappointed in the level of service, systems or outcome from businesses you have encountered, that if that business was the product you wouldn’t buy it.

Is it the business owner’s intention to have these results? Of course not!

So why does it happen? It is usually that they are so focused on the sale of the products and running the business that the recipient’s experience is either secondary or not thought of at all. This is result of systems not initially set up in the business architecture to deliver the correct experience. In other words, they are so focused on working in the business that not enough proper time has been taken to work on the business. It takes time and discipline and in this world of high demands and instant gratification it is a very difficult thing to do…slow down.

What about those businesses where we have had a truly great experience. Why such disparity? What makes them so different?

There seems to be a different culture within those businesses that provide great experiences and the ones that provide “not so great” experiences. What drives that cultural difference? It all comes down to the intended mission of the business owner/leader. They pay attention to what are the details and they take the time to work on the details. Again slowing down, taking the time and being thoughtful about the intended outcome.

Anurag equated this whole idea of creating your business to constructing your dream home or a building, which I can relate to. The first step required is to understand what you are creating (your Mission – what are you delivering; and it should have nothing to do with the product or service but the experience you are intending to deliver).

Once you have the MISSION nailed down then you need to deal with the details: how tall will the building be as this will determine how deep and wide the foundation needs to be, what is the intended use for the building, what are the conditions in which this building will exist, etc. From this point you can create your blueprints to design the building. This is your Vision process, which I will expand on in a further posting.

So let’s get back to the idea of Mission. What is our mission for our businesses?

I am sure we all have heard about business Vision and Mission statements over the years. Here are some examples:

  • Wal-Mart (1990) “Become a $125 billion company by the year 2000″
  • Sony (1950′s) “Become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products”
  • Boeing (1950) “Become the dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the jet age”
  • Ford Motor Company (early 1900′s) “Ford will democratize the automobile”

The following Mission statements are closer to delivering an experience. Also please note there are some core values that would have to be inherently involved in creating and successfully delivering these mission statements.

  • 3M “To solve unsolved problems innovatively”
  • Mary Kay Cosmetics “To give unlimited opportunity to women.”
  • Merck “To preserve and improve human life.”
  • Wal-Mart “To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.”

These are close and include some of the elements of the MISSIONS to which Anurag refers. He states when it comes to the MISSION it is what is the experience that we want our clients, staff, suppliers and associates to have when they interact or get involved with our businesses. It may or may not what the “Vision and Mission Statement” states. It may not even be put in writing, but more of an overall feeling that one would get. It is the “North Star”, your “Guiding Light” or the “Touchstone” that is at the very core of your business.

Here is a good example of what Anurag is referring to in terms of Mission:

  • Walt Disney “To make people happy.”
  • Coca Cola
    “To refresh the world…”
    “To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…”
    “To create value and make a difference.”

There is the experience aspect which is so critical to the implementation of the Mission.

One of my close friends has also attended these events and has taken the time and done the work. It has positively impacted and positioned his business immensely. His mission is simply stated: “Make their day” and every day he is consistently looking at ways that he can “make their day” whether it is a customer, a staff member, a supplier or associate.

In order for the MISSION to be delivered it must be supported by a set of values that set the performance standards and direct the implementation of the mission.

Everything about your business must stem from that single intended experience you desire to deliver. This can take a great deal of searching to come up with the MISSION that if delivered truly resonates with you at the core about what your intended delivered experience. The MISSION doesn’t necessarily have to describe or be an action, experience or anything else other than it needs to provide you the reference for what the intended experience is to be. I have heard MISSIONS such as “Wahoo”, “Oh I Get it,” or “Indescribable Impact.” It doesn’t have to have a meaning for anyone else but those that are delivering the MISSION.

One helpful clue that was shared about developing my MISSION was whatever the experience I am intending to deliver it is usually is a reflection of what I am actually looking to experience.

The MISSION for my business is “PLAY FULL” , which include a wholes set of values to deliver it.

So….What is your MISSION?

By Andrew Schulhof
30 Aug 2011