The Mission Statement

I was introduced to "The Mission Statement" at the tail end of 2003.

That was a pretty big year.

Not only did I get introduced to "Mission Statement" but I got within a hair's breath of realizing my lifelong dream of becoming a professional songwriter, only to watch it crumble before my very eyes. I also got married somewhere in there too.


You know,

Big year.

Anyway, I remember this laminated poster coming in the intra-office mail bag.

"What's this all about?" I asked.

"That's our Mission Statement." she replied with glee.

"What's that?" I asked with a similar amount of glee and not just a little sarcasm.

"A Mission Statement is a company wide declaration of purpose and a way to coordinate all of our efforts." I am absolutely positive she didn't say it that way, but let's give her the benifit of the doubt.

"Okay." I said. Irony replacing both sarcasm and glee.

I didn't understand it then cause I hadn't seen it 'in action' and it wasn't like the statement was any sort of 'paradygm shift' nor was it likely to support 'intergration' or 'synergy' It was a pretty poster, though. Marketing had clearly been involved.

Now that I'm much older and just a little wiser, I can see clearly the benificial paths created by laminating a company wide declaration of purpose in order to coordinate our efforts.

Lets us say that the company wide declaration was "Make People Happy"

So everything I do, you do, we do, aside from receiving our hourly wages, is to "Make People Happy."

Say Hi to every customer, cause saying Hi "Makes People Happy."

Scrub that toilet because clean toilets "Make People Happy."

Work hard because watching you work hard "Makes People Happy."

If we all do the things that make people happy then we will make people happy and therefore, mission accomplished!

There are no misinterpretations because there are no problems with that idea. Except of course, the obvious ones.


Some people are never happy.


Most of the time you're really just trying to Make People Not Sad

and finally,

You can't do the things that Make You Happy, cause, well, you're not People.

But aside from that . . . flawless.

Every company has a mission statement. And the Mission Statement is Good Product, Good Service.

Sometimes Good Service, Low Prices.

Sometimes "We're better than everyone else and we're sometimes open."

It is 'The Mission Statement' that solidifies the concept that there is work to be done and we are busy doing that work.

The reason I was thinking about that this morning is because a friend of mine recently mentioned that I was awfully lucky to be able to take all this time off.




Yeah, off.


And I gotta admit, what I do now is screamingly different than what I did before. Making People Happy with my vocabulary and rock tenor is quite a leap away from Making People Happy with labor cost analysis and high speed deployment.

And, let us just be a bit honest and say that I sleep a lot more than I did then, but I spent nearly fifteen years getting up before four in the morning, so I'm nowhere near as caught up as the rest of you are.

And of course there's no real income to speak of yet.

And I want to be a little insulted, cause it's been insinuated that I'm some indulgent hobbiest rather than a risk taking visionary, but, you know, that's cool, it's not every day you get to hang with a guy who chases the impossible, so how would you be able to tell the difference?

How would you know? How would anyone know?

Especially since I don't have a Mission Statement.

Which is the only thing seperating indulgent hobbiests from risk taking visionaries.

So here's my world wide declaration in order to coordinate all of our efforts.

Here's my Mission Statement:

Have Courage.

That's it.

Have Courage.

Chasing the impossible is awesome if you have courage.

Failing is awesome if you have courage.

Bloody finger tips, and aching backs, tired voices and strained eyes is totally rad, so have courage.

It's okay that people think you're lazy, you know better, you have courage.

Raising a family while you spit in the eye of frustration and self doubt, bang, courage.

And I don't expect a ticker tape parade. I'm not flying across the Atlantic or building a better burrito, in fact, I didn't leave the corporate world because I felt I was working too hard, if anything I wanted to do much much much much more, but thems the breaks kid.

So now I have a mission statement, Have Courage.

And if you're the kind of person that feels, deep down in that core of yours, that what I'm doing is easy or lazy or recklessly indulgent, then honestly, maybe you're the kind of person that needs a mission statement too.

And if you can't think of one, you're welcome to borrow mine.

I'm pretty busy, but totally willing to share.

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