Make a Statement Personally & Professionally

Issue: 
May-June 2009

A VARIETY OF CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES has led me along a path of deep introspection over the past few years with many self-asked questions pondering my personal purpose and existential reason for being. Such considerations are perhaps prompted by mid-life as looming on the horizon is my 40th birthday. As this occurs on September 11, it has, at least for the past eight years, provoked additional thoughts on the meaning of life in reflection of that terrible day in 2001.

hile our pursuits and purpose will be as varied as there are individuals, there can be found great reward in preparing a personal life plan, and if a business owner, a corporate mission statement. When focused in a manner that is well serving of our passions and desires while enhancing the pleasure and opportunities of others, life is surely to be exceptionally satisfying and reciprocally further inspiring.

Why the warm and fuzzy message as this month’s topic? Well, my own observations of the corporate mentality within the economic woes we see today suggest that a stable and secure society is likely only with an appreciation that the “business is business” perspective is a view that is stained in blood from the wounds of honest, hardworking people inflicted by the greedy and corrupted (remember Enron?). In each day’s headlines, I am continually saddened to hear of an upper echelon that rewards itself excessively at the expense of others. It is pleasing to hear that reform and government intervention is now offering some protection. Yet this involvement can spurn much discussion in debate of capitalism and socialism.

In the current business world, mission statements are too often simply just an inauthentic expression crafted presumably to create an illusory appearance of good corporate citizenship – words mean very little without corresponding action.

A good mission statement should genuinely define within a brief paragraph or two a business entity’s purpose. It should embody and envision intentions, philosophies and goals. Attempting to function absent of a mission statement is to simply roam and wander without an intended course or ability to measure and verify progress.

Those who see “business as business” with little if any more reason than a financial purpose perhaps need return to capitalist fundamentals – does the phrase “build a better mousetrap...” remind you of anything? Personally, a mentor in my first full-time job (retail sales in an electronics store) hit the nail on the head with his lesson of “when we look after our customers, our paycheques look after themselves.” This theme could be extended to include colleagues, employees, partners, suppliers and even competitors. Yes, competitors! Have you ever heard the expression that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks? We live in a very fragile world.

While I haven’t yet “made it big,” this is certainly a philosophy that I find comfortable to live with. There is much that could be said about soulful reward, however I will refrain here as that is a discovery best uncovered oneself.

I’ve discovered an excellent website, www.missionstatements.com, that shares many examples from large and small businesses as well as offering ideas for your own. Live right personally as well as in business and let the karma take care of you!

— Scott McEachern, toscottm@hotmail.com

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