The importance of clarifying mission and values

I had two meetings recently with young leaders and both ended up having very similar themes.  One of the leaders was frustrated by her team that seems unmotivated and not committed to the organization’s mission.  The other leader was concerned that the people in her organization were not as driven and motivated as she was; they didn’t seem to have the same values.

After some discussion with each about their individual situations, I realized that both of these leaders needed some mission and values clarification.  In the first case, it seemed that the team members were unclear about the mission and values of the organization.  They were not committed to the organization’s mission because they weren’t clear as to what the mission was.  The mission and values were not clearly defined and as a result the team was confused about what was expected.  In the second case, the values of the organization did not match the values of this young leader.  She was frustrated because her values of work ethic, teamwork, and respect were not shared by the organization.

In both cases, there was a need to clarify the mission and values of the organization.  And this is an important exercise for all leaders.  As leaders, we need to make sure we have communicated the mission of our organization clearly to all team members.  The mission is our reason for being, and if team members don’t understand this, they will often seem unmotivated and perhaps unfocused.  Values are important because they help team members know the principles of behavior that are expected in the organization.

Pause this week and ask if your team members know and understand the mission and values of your organization.  If you aren’t sure, spend some time communicating these and checking with your team for understanding.   When your team understands and agrees with the mission and values, they will be committed and motivated.  So make sure this basic foundation is in place and you and your team will be on your way to great success.

Thanks for reading,

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog –
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football,


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