Shep Englander — Federation Journal
Fundamental #15: Be Mission-Driven
Fundamental #15: BE MISSION-DRIVEN. Demonstrate a passion for our mission. Understand the difference we make in people’s lives. As you make decisions, think about how it might affect different parts of the broader community. How does this decision affect our partners and other stakeholders? How does it affect the community at large? Remember, you are part of something bigger than yourself.
About four years ago, I asked Tom Monaco to do some coaching to help me grown the ways I lead. Tom suggested that I start by writing a personal mission statement for myself. He said that I needed to know my personal mission before I could really know how my mission lined up with the mission of the Federation that I was leading. Writing a personal mission statement was a bit intimidating at first but once I got going, I liked having it.
Here is an excerpt of that mission statement:
As a husband, father, leader and friend, I am authentic, caring, and confident.
I build trusting relationships exchanging insights and inspirations encouraging growth.
I believe that creating communities of shared purpose can transform life.
If I were to write it now, it would be a little different. It’s a great exercise to do. I’d encourage all of us to give it a try. If you’re the type of person who would like a framework for how to get started, I can get that from Tom. We could also build this into a staff meeting or a staff retreat if you would find it helpful.
Our mission at the Federation is to: develop and connect leaders, contributors, organizations, and ideas to build an inclusive Jewish community that helps people in need, supports Israel, and assures a vibrant Jewish future.
It’s important to break this down to parts and see which ones you connect with personally. It’s good for any organization if staff can memorize this one sentence mission statement.
Impress your friends and colleagues by reciting when staff are wrestling with a hard decision. See if it helps in making a hard decision.
Also, this mission statement is just a draft that a group of staff and board members developed about five years ago. If we wrote it today, it would be a little different. If you have thoughts on how it might be different or want to discuss your personal mission statement, let me know.
See here for Shep’s comments on all the fundamentals so far.