Leadership- Influencing others to focus their efforts on accomplishing a mission, or continuously improving, by providing purpose, direction and the appropriate stimuli for motivation.
That’s one definition of leadership. But knowing how to lead other people in an organizational setting doesn’t mean you have to be a natural leader. How well you understand your people, your business processes and the resources you have available are the traits that can matter most.
One of the most overlooked aspects of good leadership is focusing on your company vision and mission. A good business leader without clear goals is like stabbing in the dark. A mission is a purpose, it is the reason for your business. As an entrepreneur starting up a new business, you should take the time to understand your vision and what value you expect in terms of both material and intrinsic value before you can begin to write down your mission statement.
As a startup or an established business, you never want to take any steps in the wrong direction. If the first step is not directed in the right direction, all of your subsequent steps can turn out to be wasted. From a leadership perspective, it is one thing to waste time, effort and resources as a single person, but as a leader and owner of a business, this waste is multiplied with each employee.
In developing a mission statement, there are three core principles. These principles represent the different types of risk inherent to every decision, process design, operation and improvement effort you and your employees will make:
Safety & Security- A business must provide employees with a work environment free of conditions which could result in unacceptable injury, sickness, or personal physical security. Also, your company must provide your clients or customers with a product or service free of hazards which could result in injury, sickness, personal physical or financial harm. All this while still ensuring that the environment is not adversely affected.
Quality- An organization must provide customers with the products and services they want, in the quantities they want, when they ask for them. This is the heart of a business mission statement. Providing what is needed, wanted, or requested, in the most timely manner possible.
Efficiency- It is critical to the success of the business to create the greatest value for its customers at the lowest possible cost. Quality versus price is the age-old discriminator that most effects the cost vs profit potential.
The mission statement is your foundation. Everything that happens within your business is affected by it. Your mission must represent the vision and values that inspired you to start your company and the purpose you will try to achieve. As a leader, you must realize that decisions and actions will either help achieve your mission, or they will create waste. Clearly communicating your business’ mission is the first step to leading successfully. Leadership is a well thought-out plan of goals and tactics to get there.