I am fortunate to have a wonderfully classy and intelligent mentor. She is the kind of woman I aspire to emulate and she is kind enough to share her experiences with me and offer guidance through the challenges I face in my own leadership journey. One evening over dinner I expressed that I was struggling to make a decision on how best to handle a difficult situation and asked her advice and to teach me how she approached similar circumstances. Wise as she is, she didn't offer me a solution, but pointed to my organizations mission and vision statement. She said that the best way to determine what direction to lead your team is to follow the corporate vision already laid out before you. (I told you she was wise!)
What is your Mission?
Do you know your organizations mission statement? If not I suggest you look it up - it's likely posted somewhere, in your employee handbook or on your corporate website. Here are a few samples I found that are worth checking out. My organizations mission statement is this:
"Committed to excellence in service to you"
Do you choose to accept it?
So why is it she suggested I follow the mission/vision of my organization when making decisions? How does a statement such as the one I listed above or the examples shown direct decision making?
Let's take mine as an example. I work as a third party property manager and as such I can occasionally find myself between a rock and a hard place trying to keep both a tenant and the landlord happy. Let's say the tenant has a want that goes against the landlord's policy. In this situation I can't make both people happy and it's not as simple as asking who my client is because an unhappy tenant could chose to leave as a result of my decision and then my client (the landlord) would also be unhappy.
My organization's mission statement again is "committed to excellence in service to you" so I should strive for excellence in service in my decision making process. I would examine the situation from that perspective and bring solutions to the table that focus on excellent service while articulating that this is how I arrived at these possible resolutions.
Sounds simple right? And it is that simple.
Now, that doesn't mean that my solutions will always be accepted, but at least I'm attempting to drive resolution based on the corporate vision and I really can't go wrong there. By remaining consistent in our approach to our organizational mission statement we eliminate other decision making paths that can lead to less desirable outcomes.
It's Your Turn:
What is your company's mission statement? How can following it simplify and improve your decision making processes?