Why You Don't Get To Choose Your Mission. It Chooses You.
Mission is not a choice. It’s dictated by others’ needs. Sometimes those others give you a mission. Sometimes you have to figure it out yourself. Either way, it’s a journey of discovery, not creation. As described in our new book, First-Time Leader (request an executive summary), the questions to ask are:
- Who needs us?
- What do they need and why?
- What must we deliver to meet their needs?
Your mission flows from those. This is true whether you are onboarding into a new leadership role or just re-thinking what matters and why.
Richard and Michelle Laver’s story about the development of Kate Farms Komplete Shakes is a case in point. Their daughter Kate was born with Cerebral Palsy, which made eating normal food out of the question. As Richard explained to me,
At the age of four, Kate was failing to ‘thrive’ and was faced with numerous difficulties. The meal replacement shake her doctors prescribed was overloaded with sugar and dairy for calorie enhancement…We were in the hospital with Kate in dire circumstances – she could not keep any weight on her and her quality of life was poor. Getting Kate out of that was our driving force.
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