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Realigning Your Why

#live2lead Sep 28, 2021

Jamie Kern Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics, went from once a struggling waitress to an international best-selling sensation, eventually selling her company for over a billion dollars becoming the first female CEO of a brand in L’Oréal’s 100+ year history.

How did she do this? By not changing her "why!" Jamie shares, "If other people's opinions can shift your "why", it's not powerful enough." 

I believe sustained organizational health and success begins with a clear and concise mission statement. Your organization's mission is the WHY behind your existence. 

Here is what I mean.

Great organizations continuously follow their mission and rarely stray from it; as even a deviation can result in a flutter of ineffective activity and confusion. 

As marketing expert Donald Miller says, “When you confuse, you lose.” 

The most effective schools I have studied sustained their mission through stable school leadership, clear education plans, effective teachers, and highly engaged parents. 

As a consultant, and strategic thinking partner to hundreds of school leaders, I investigate and analyze schools at all years of existence and achievement levels. There is one thing I know for sure.

The school’s whose faculty understand who they are and why they exist are able to clearly articulate and communicate their education plans and overall programming.

They have learned to prioritize their time and focus their resources on what is the most vital, making subtle tweaks in their plans, resulting in significant improvement in teaching and learning. 

The school’s who are underperforming at any level, are muddy with their communication and typically have a hodgepodge of programs and theories within their education plan, and never learn to prioritize what gives them the greatest return. So they do one of two things: 

  1. Hover in destination disease happy with being “better than” a neighboring school, or,
  2. Repurpose funds annually to buy the shiny new program that will fix all, confusing their teachers and blame others (parents, government or kids) for their failures. 

Sustained organizational health and success begins with a clear and concise mission statement.

What makes an effective mission statement? 

A mission statement should be concise and to the point; but be broad enough to empower those in the organization to look at it and ask: “Am I contributing to our goal?”

The mission should have an emotional attachment; something to rally around, a guiding light for everyone within the organization.

The mission should resonate with everyone whether they just joined an organization, or have been there since the beginning.

Here are some examples you might recognize.

Google: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Apple: Bringing the best personal computing experience to consumers around the world.

Facebook: Give the people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Walmart: To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people.

Netflix: To revolutionize the way people watch movies.

Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. 

Can't you get a feel of who they are and why they exist through their mission?

Now, let's take a look at a few school mission statement examples.

Exploris School: Exploris will be a catalyst for solving present and future problems across the street and around the world.

Charlotte Lab School: The mission of the Lab School is to rethink schooling for the 21st Century. 

Raleigh Charter High: Raleigh Charter High challenges college bound students in a creative and supportive atmosphere to become knowledgeable, thoughtful, contributing citizens. 

Sugar Creek Charter School: To eradicate generational poverty by providing a college and career preparatory education from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Having the privilege to walk the halls of these schools, I can tell you, the mission statement is more than words on paper!

How does your Mission Statement stack up? 

Are you ready realign your "why?"

Come learn with me on Friday, October 8th at 9:00 AM from experts such as Jamie Kern Lima herself at the Live2Lead Conference

Grab your virtual ticket here, and join me as we continue to grow into our best selfs! 



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