The foundational beginning of leadership development is self-awareness. In Carson Pue’s incredible leadership book, Mentoring Leaders, he tells a story of a sailing trip he took where he got lost. He uses it as an analogy in regards to leadership:
“If we are unaware of where we are, or if we have lost our bearing and wandered off course, any leadership we provide may not assist in leading our followers to the desired destination.”
Self-Awareness is recognizing a feeling as it happens, which is the measure of emotional intelligence.
Daniel Goleman says it like this: “People with a greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives, having a surer sense of how they really feel about personal decisions from whom they marry to what job they take.”
In the moment, what are you feeling? Do you find it important for a leader to be self aware of their own moods while they are having them? Have you seen leaders completely lose their minds and have no clarity on the situation except sadness or anger?
“There are too many leaders out there who have lost touch with their feelings and perspective of where they are or even who they are,” says Pue.
So, who are you? What are you about? Where are you? Where are you going?
I have found the greatest tool in answering these questions is to have a Mission Statement.
My mission statement guides me with my purpose, my vision, my leadership, and allows me a greatest sense of self-awareness.
All Fortune 500 companies have a mission statement. It is a compass to guide them, when they have “lost their bearing and wandered off course.” Why should it be any different with your leadership and life?
So why create a Mission Statement:
- Helps you make your best and longest lasting contribution
- Gives you sustained motivation
- Gives you a compass/blueprint/roadmap in decision-making
- Gives you joy and brings joy to others
- Helps you stay focused and not get side-tracked
- Allows you to be more Self-Aware
I have included a few examples for you. These are printed out and framed next to my bed.
Work Mission Statement
I am creating one of the most exciting and magnetic Track and Field programs in Southern California while building character and discipline into each athlete while building my leaders into people who coach with an exceptionally researched approach to training and leadership.
Life Mission Statement
I am trusting God to use my strengths to Train, Disciple, Encourage, Motivate, and Develop my wife, children, assistant coaches, and athletes to become more mature Christians who internalize the Gospel of Jesus Christ. - Luke 12:48
Marriage Mission Statement
Our desire is to be thirsty to connect with God every day that as we grow in dependence of Him, we grow closer to each other. Clothed in the Lord’s compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness & patience we shall demonstrate a ‘called life’ versus a ‘driven life’ – His will be done. We treasure the blessing of our children, defining our success in nurturing Christ-centered character in them. We will be faithful stewards & cheerful givers of all God has bestowed on us. We purpose as a family to serve & support both local and foreign missions for the Gospel. The home the Lord has provided will be a haven of rest & encouragement in Christ’s love. We will cultivate thankfulness & joy to exalt Him.
“Choose you this day who you will serve. . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Post them somewhere easy to read and visible for others. They will help keep you accountable.
Have at it. What can you create as a Mission Statement? Steal from my examples and make it work for you.