Defining Your Personal and Professional Mission and Vision: Practical Steps for Advancing Your Life Direction

As we bring our leadership series to a close with this seventh and final installment, I’d like to take a moment to summarize what we’ve learned thus far.

  • Many factors affect success in leadership. One of those factors is the lack of mentorship and sponsorship for many in the workplace, especially women and minorities. We can all pay it forward, regardless of gender, race, religion, or social standing. This will help mitigate the current disparities and advancement opportunities in the workplace, as well as personal success in life.
  • The role of emotional intelligence in achieving success has come to the forefront in recent years. It has been noted to be a more important life and success skill than intellectual intelligence alone. The good news is that it can be developed. Emotional intelligence must be cultivated for success in leadership, work, and life.
  • As we focused on Leadership vs. Management, it became clear that leadership and management roles, though different, are intimately intertwined. One role is distinctly more vision-driven, and the other is predominately more process-driven. The successful leader must learn how to navigate both of these crucial roles.
  • People are the tangible assets of any organization, while the processes and systems are the intangible assets. Successful organizations and impactful leaders must learn to navigate both effectively in order to thrive.
  • Mastery is a critical component of any leadership journey. The greatest masters, past and present, relied on their passion as motivation and applied persistence to an intentional pursuit to reach their goals. Mastery, regardless of the subject, will enable you to accomplish your personal and professional goals.
  • Great teams do not happen by accident. Teams can either make or break any venture. By selecting your team members conscientiously, you can build a stellar team and accomplish great things.

Importance of Crafting a Mission and Vision Statement

“A mission statement is not something you write overnight … But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life. -Stephen Covey

I concur with Covey’s statement that having a mission statement and guiding principles for your life and work is critical. Glassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey of 2019 revealed that 89% of adults across the United States, UK, France, and Germany believe that it is important for an employer to have a clear mission and purpose. A clearly defined corporate mission statement serves two purposes; it provides the overarching vision to guide your business, from strategic decisions to daily operations; and it sets the purpose and intention of the work your teams are doing day in and day out. However, defining a corporate mission statement is only the first step. Those joining you on this mission journey must be aware of, and understand, the vision you have set. While a mission outlines the values and principles of your organization, setting a vision for your organization helps your team understand the direction and desired outcomes for your organization.

I believe that setting a personal mission statement is of equal importance. The process of creating your very own mission statement requires deep reflection, clarifying your purpose and identifying what is truly important to you. Sometimes understanding where we have come from can help us clarify where we are going. However, while it is important to reflect on lessons learned from the past, it is even more valuable to anticipate and intentionally design the future. Many people do the first part only and find themselves stuck in the past, which hinders them from looking forward to the future.

“You can’t drive your car looking in the rearview mirror. If you keep looking in the rearview mirror, you are going to keep crashing your car. The windshield is your future – it’s where you’re going, where you’re headed” – Steve Harvey

Steps for Creating Your Personal Mission Statement

Have you ever tried to write a personal mission statement before? You will have discovered that it is not easy, but very important. Your vision will help guide your mission statement. Crafting this essential piece of your personal essence helps you define your “why,” giving your existence meaning. It guides you through life, and it becomes easier answering the questions of “how” and “what.” Even if you have already defined your mission statement, it may be time to re-evaluate. As your perspectives change, and life brings you more experiences, your personal mission statement will also evolve. Here are the steps which I have found helpful for developing and evolving a strong mission statement:

  • Reflection – Your mission statement should be written on a foundation of principle and value. Reflect on what is most important to you in life and what values guide your decision making. Does your outer world reflect your inner values? What are the goals you are hoping to achieve? Determine from where your passion is derived, and how it influences (or, how you would like it to influence) your life and your work. Consider the legacy for which you want to be remembered. What is the kind of person that you want to be?
  • Evaluation – Evaluate and validate that your principles and goals are aligned with what is most important to you. When there is congruence between your inner and outer self, conflict and anxiety are reduced as you are propelled to achieve your goals and mission. Enjoy the journey and the process.
  • Action – Write down your mission statement. A strong mission statement is easy to understand, simply stated without presumption, and leads with positivity.
  • Refinement – Once your mission statement is drafted, I recommend that you take time periodically to refine it. Your mission should be an accurate representation of your values, your passion, and your goals.

There is no time like today. Start with step one; begin your reflection journey to know yourself and what is most important in your life. Once you craft a personal mission statement, you can expand this into other areas such as a family mission statement – defining together with your siblings, children, parents, etc., what you want your family to stand for. This is how communities and organizations are built – it starts at the individual level. Defining your life’s mission can help you generate a positive ripple effect in your immediate community and in so doing, the world at large.

We want to hear from you! Join us on social media to share your personal mission statements and make sure to include the hashtag #MyMissionMyVision

Remember, you don’t have to have a title to be a leader. You are the leader in your own life, and you are setting an example daily, whether positive or negative. I hope this leadership series has equipped you with some personal and professional tools to take you to the next level in life and in work. You will find that the leader has been inside you this whole time. Thank you for coming with me on this leadership series journey!

If you’re interested in learning more, make sure to get your free copy of my 7-Step Success Formula booklet at