Obama told us today: "We are made for this moment"
And it got me thinking. Should we all have a grand strategy? What about a personal vision or mission statement? Or, at the very least, a principled and structured way to determine how we act and react?
I was struck by listening to Obama’s Obama’s Second Inaugural Address on the Mall today that we all need grand strategies and mission statements. If we do not define how we act during adversity and what principles we uphold and defend individually, we won’t know if/when our values are being violated.
Obama’s address demanded “We must act. We must act knowing that our work will be imperfect.” And in her invocation Myrlie Evers-Williams added color, quoting writer Alex Haley’s principle of trying to “find the good, and praise it.”
We need to define for ourselves what is good, and what do we praise. But not doing so does us all a disservice.
Seems funny to say, but businesses have beliefs too — they encompass the spirit of the enterprise and the ethical practices of the institution’s employees.
Goldman Sachs is in the news this week (again) for its decaying culture. This time over an open letter written by a departing employee. Now, to be clear Goldman’s slide from “client first” to ripping the faces off muppets has been a gradual, slow one that has been happening for a long time. But it raises the question: how has the bank lost its way?
Goldman is a bank and its focus on making money is part of its DNA, to be sure, but it may have forgotten itself in its rush to make money through approaches it used to avoid. Its mission has been exposed as words with no real meaning, and it should act as a reminder of the importance of living the company’s mission everyday.
Mission: A company’s mission statement covers the core purpose and goal of the organization, and acts as a guide in daily decision making and performance — it should be straightforward and measurable.