Whether they pay much attention to it or not, virtually every organization of any size has a mission statement. Well crafted and well used, mission statements serve as a powerful statement of what that organization does and does NOT do, orienting everyone to a common objective.
Much less common and equally powerful, are individual mission statements, tailor made for leaders as human beings.
James Dyson is a British billionaire, industrial designer, and founder of the Dyson company. He is also an inventor best known for one invention. That, as you may know from TV ads, is his famous Dyson Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner, which is unique in the history of vacuum cleaners! You see, it pivots on a ball and operates without a bag. Kind of a big deal.
Millions of commercial cleaning workers and busy parents rise up and call James Dyson blessed!
He has invented many other things but today may best be known for his Dyson Foundation. The foundation encourages young people to become engineers and scientists but what is unique about it is that it celebrates and at times even rewards the mistakes those young people make.
You see, James Dyson learned early on that the combination of failure and determination can lead to great things. He wasn’t a good athlete as a young man but he excelled at long distance running simply because he was more determined than the other kids.
This carried over into his career as an inventor. Through the ups and downs of the creative process, through version after failed version of each successive invention, he refused to become discouraged until he had THE product.
The product that makes you say “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Here’s what Dyson told the Wall Street Journal:
“I don’t like science fiction. I don’t think it’s very clever, to be honest. It’s very easy to imagine what the world might be like. The difficult thing is making the world a better place and making things work better”.
There you have it – James Dyson’s personal mission statement:
“Making the world a better place and making things work better”.
It’s short, succinct, powerful – a guiding star to James Dyson’s life and career and the influence and impact he has had.
Here’s the key question – do YOU have a personal mission statement this clear and concise?
There’s nothing stopping you! Or there shouldn’t be.
Two resources for you to keep in mind.
Our book Your Intentional Difference: One Word Changes Everything will help you see how your uniqueness – the 5% of what you do that only you can do the way you do it – can form the crux of your life mission. Read more here.
And, for a personal touch, our leadership coaches are masters at helping individual leaders identify, hone, and live into their personal missions. Begin the process of meeting one here.