What is Your Purpose?


This week’s post was written by Scott Peterson.

This week is the kick-off to Excellence In Leadership 1 — It is one of my favorite events. As I was preparing for it, I reflected on all the different topics and activities included. Participants have the opportunity to do leadership challenges, give and receive feedback, and learn about leadership. These are all impactful and really cool activities (at least for a leadership geek like me). However, one of the longest-lasting and most impactful elements for participants is taking time to reflect about their personal values and beginning to write a personal mission statement (purpose). 

The first time I tried to write mine was in 1996. It took me about a year to finish. I wrote a short version, a long version and a bullet point version. It was a frustrating process for me until I got some advice:

  • A personal mission statement is written by you and for you. Express your purpose and don’t try to impress people.  It can be long. It can be short. It can be anything you want. 
  • Your mission statement should give you direction for your life and help you stay focused on your passion and values. 
  • Once you have it, lean on it. Lean on it during tough times and when you’re faced with big or small decisions. Lean on it in good times to help you stay focused on what’s important to you. 

During this next week, I will be reflecting on my personal mission statement. I will double check that it still holds true. I will be thinking about the times during the past year that it has helped me. I will also be thinking about the times I forgot about it and missed the opportunity to lean on it. The best thing I am hoping for is that it inspires me as much now as it did when I first wrote it (when it “clicked”). And if I need to make any changes to it – I will do that, too. 

Here is my challenge to you: reflect on your mission statement and let it inspire you. Live your mission statement and use all of your gifts, talents, and resources to work toward the direction that you set, and then see what kinds of extraordinary things can happen. 

Have a great week and continue leading the Interstates Way!

Scott Peterson

P.S. If you’ve never written a personal mission statement (or you wrote one but you don’t remember it) – there is no time like the present! If you need resources to get started, please let me know.