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What is your Mission?

I was meeting with my communications team a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing the various initiatives we were implementing and the success of each. A topic that generated a lot of discussion was how we determined success. Some things are relatively easy. Success of an advertising campaign can be measured directly by the number of individuals driven to a website. Others are more difficult. For example how do you measure the success of a social media program?

As we discussed tactics and metrics we gradually got into team goals. Each of us, no matter who we were or what role we had, was critical to the overall success of the team. We each had individual goals that would help the team meet a much larger outcome. The more each of us understood the overall goal and how each of us was interdependent with others in the group the better it would be for all. We could help each other. Another example of the sum of the parts is bigger than the whole. 1+1=3.

Many of us have professional goals that are a requirement of the job we have. Many of us have personal goals and have a plan to meet them. Often these can be relatively short term in nature spanning weeks to months.

How many of us have a personal mission that will help guide us personally and professionally for years to come?

Back in 1993 I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. One of his habits is “Begin with the end in mind.” In his words clearly envision the destination and then use a compass to help you get there.

A tool that Covey strongly recommends is for each of us to write a personal mission statement. This paragraph, poem, document will help us determine what is important to each of us. It will help us as we try to decide what to say “yes” to and what projects or opportunities to decline as we proceed through life. It will help us stay true to our inner self.

Covey recommends taking time to reflect and putting yourself in a setting where you can think creatively and write spontaneously. I was in San Diego and took myself for a few hours to the Torrey Pines Glider Port. I spent a very nice afternoon sitting at the top of a cliff staring out at the Pacific Ocean with Torrey Pines golf course to my right, Black’s Beach below and the occasional hang glider soaring overhead. It is one of the most beautiful spots on the West Coast.

My goal was to trust the process. I really did not know how it would come out but committed to myself to try. At the end of the afternoon as I watched the sun set I had written a passage that I still reflect on and let guide me today over 15 years later. It helps me understand who I am and how I would like to relate to the people that I love and trust. I’ve include it at the end of this passage for a couple of reasons; first so I can find it whenever I need to pull myself back to my basics not letting success or failure derail me from my ultimate goal and second so my family and friends can keep me honest.

Let me know what you think.

Until next time – All the best!




I Roland Bydlon value the freedom
to make decisions,
to take on or turn down responsibilities,
to be creative,
to do things differently, to change.

I value the relationships in my life;
my relationship with Sue, my wife and best friend,
with Tim and Kyle my sons,
with my sisters (and all my extended family),
and with my friends both personal and professional.

I value nature and my relationship with it.

I value my faith and my relationship with God.

With these values in mind I commit myself
to be honest in all dealings,
to smile,
to always strive to be my best and do my best without respect to past situations or future considerations,
to take on new challenges willingly and happily,
to continually strive to increase my knowledge and skill base,
to actively listen and attempt to understand others before acting,
to accept divergent thoughts and actions,
to encourage others to be their best,
and to always strive for a win/win solution.

In order to achieve this mission I pledge to
respect my body, eat sensibly and exercise regularly,
take time to think,
take time to pray,
take time to love,
take time to say “thank you”,
take time to stop and listen to the “whispers”,
take time to plan,
and to avoid boasting to others, for recognition of a mission accomplished comes from within.

My overriding goal is to enjoy the day and to enjoy and appreciate life which is limited in length but is always dynamic and limitless in possibility.

From The Serenity Prayer
“Lord give me the courage to change the things which can and ought to be changed, the serenity to accept the things which cannot and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Roland J. Bydlon
Originally written 9/10/93
Updated 6/18/94 & 9/1/02

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