Day 23,697: Making a Difference in Different Ways.
Today was a day dedicated to mission statements. At work, I was asked to help the company reconsider our mission statement. It’s a task I’ve been desiring for over 4 years, but the company to date has been happy with its current, accurate, yet uninspiring statement. I pulled out years of notes from past strategic planning sessions and set to work. Initial drafts came fairly easily, and I hope it spurs interesting conversations. In fact, it already has.
Halfway through the day my favorite police officer came into my office to check in. He’s known throughout the area, all over the company, and by name by many of our travelers. He has a charismatic personality, is the epitome of community policing, and makes everyone feel special.
When I told him what I was doing he got energized. “I want to help,” he said, so I put him to work. He reviewed my documents, made suggestions and then admitted he believes so strongly in mission statements that he has a personal one he lives by each day.
“What is it?” I asked, intrigued. He rattled it right off. “To make at least one person happy each day.”
It rings so true for him, and I know he achieves it daily. I’ve watched him in action. I’ve heard about crazy impromptu dances in WaWa with strangers to brighten their day, and I’ve watched him take the fear out of children’s eyes and turn them around into giggling, happy travelers. No surprise – the parents are instantly happier as well. Make no mistake, he’s dedicated to safety and law enforcement as his tasks and goals, but his mission is as stated above.
“I’m not sure I have a mission statement,” I admitted, and then gave it some thought. “I think mine is to make sure my family is healthy and happy,” I said and admitted it’s not always an easy task.
He noted that that was definitely my personal mission, and his was his work mission.
That got me to wondering about my work mission. I couldn’t immediately think of it. When in the newspaper field, I was very clear I was working for an ever-stronger democratic society and fourth estate. If I can only have one amendment to a Constitution it will always be the first. But what is my current work mission at a transportation business that is not part of the fourth estate?
Last year, a Millenial colleague wanted to know what our higher purpose was to decide if she wanted to keep working for us. I told her what I knew to be true for me: “To do the best marketing I can to increase traffic, drive revenue and keep the organization viable in employing people in the South Jersey area.” There aren’t all that many great jobs in South Jersey. My company provides many of them. It’s one of the important things we do in addition to keeping travelers happy.
Ironically I couldn’t think of my mission on the fly today. That’s sad and shows a crack in my current working veneer. But, I’m glad I finally remembered it, because it is why I show up at work every day – not just to make a living for myself and my family – to help keep them happy and healthy – but to help all my colleagues make a living as well.
Focus on Common Sense Gun Sanity: Here’s the mission statement of the NRA – “The heart of The NRA Foundation’s mission is preserving the core of our American values and traditions in our steadfast effort to Teach Freedom.” They are pretty words, but given what they do and preach, I think they are off target (pun intended). society.
In contrast, here’s the mission statement of RegulateAsssaultWeapons.org: “… support the passage of legislation that will ban civilian ownership of all assault weapons. Through the distribution of bumper stickers and magnets our goal is to raise awareness of this issue and promote a community in which safety takes priority. Founded in response to school shootings and other incidents involving people abusing assault rifles, we at Regulate Assault Weapons believe that sensible gun legislation should include a ban on assault weapons.”
Here’s the mission of Majory Stoneham Douglas students: #NeverAgain.
Which one most #inspires you?