Back in the mid 90s my wife and I were about to finish our first 4 year term with a mission sending agency. We had been serving in Taiwan for those years, and our regional supervisor was doing an exit interview.
It was a great way to both reflect on the progress of the previousfour years, as well as a way to look toward what we would be involved with when we returned to Asia.
Our supervisor asked me what I wanted to accomplish in my next four year term.
I didn’t wait a second to reply.
In fact, the answer came out so quickly, it surprised me.
At that point, the idea of a “personal vision statement” wasn’t something I was familiar with. But as I reflect back on my answer that day, I realize what I was verbalizing was just such a statement.
When the question was asked, my reply was: “I want to position people to succeed in their work, family, school and life endevors”.
I realize now that that one sentence is at the core of who God has made me to be. It is in my DNA. It is what makes me who I am.
Positioning people to succeed involves assisting people to identify their own core values, the things that drive them, and then work to enable them to reach their own goals.
As I have aged, I can look back and see that regardless of the role I have been in I have always wanted to help people do what they already want to do. I simply enjoy helping people find success.
Personal Vision Statement
The thought hit me the other day, when I was responding to those who commented on my guest post at MichaelHyatt.com, that my desire to help people succeed at what they desire to do is actually an expression of a personal mission statement.
I had not seen it as that when I said it all those years ago, but I have come to grasp that the thing that motivates me most is most likely what I am meant to do.
I have used that inner motivation in various ways since 1996.
I have led a team of outstanding cross-cultural missionaries (learning my weakness and strengths), have trained hundreds of Chinese in various ministry models, trained leaders how to approach their leadership as a servant rather than a “master”, and most recently as a servant to an incredible group of individuals who work tirelessly to save people millions of dollars on medical bills at The Karis Group.
Core Attributes of a Personal Vision Statement
1. Self-motivating - At the very least, a personal mission statement should be something that generates its own energy. If you need constant recharging to stay “up” about your vision statement, you need to revisit it.
2. Externally validating - If your personal vision statement doesn’t get affirmed by those who know you best (at the least), revisit it. External feedback ought to validate your vision statement.
3. Easily Repeated — You don’t struggle to verbalize a personal mission statement. It comes off your tongue easily.
4. Readily Assessed — You can see the results of living out your personal vision statement. You can see the fruit of your efforts.
There may be other things that make up a personal vision statement, but I believe these are core attributes.
Do you have a personal vision statement? Why not share it in the comment section below?