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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

On mission



Apple Inc.'s current mission statement frames its purpose as “bringing the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software, and services,”.  Incorporated in 1977, the company's initial objective stated: “Apple is dedicated to the empowerment of man—to making personal computing accessible to each and every individual to help change the way we think, work, learn, and communicate.”


Mission and vision statements play critical roles in communicating the purpose of an organization to stakeholders, supporting the direction of development, and as a measuring base for success. 


Most for-profit and not-for-profit corporations painstakingly craft a statement that accurately defines the object of their desire and refer to it often to ensure proper directional movement.  If written and used correctly, these declarations keep the organization and all involved aligned with the core ambitions. 


AA first published its purpose statement in June of 1947, stating that: “Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people (originally written “men and woman”) who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.


We have come to love how the assertion was written to include guards against controversy and affiliations, how money should not be part of the equation, and that membership should be open to all who want to stop drinking.  Brilliance!


As stakeholders in this sober movement, we check ourselves daily, asking if we are adhering to AA's primary purpose: are we “staying sober” (which is more than just abstaining, but living a life of sobriety)?  As important, are we active in helping others to achieve sobriety?  We ask, do our daily activities support the purpose of the organization we hold so close to our hearts? 


This post looks at important corporate statements while serving to solicit the reader to consider creating a personal mission statement that can be used to guide one toward a lifelong ambition.  If approached earnestly, the exercise can result in a power statement that drives daily steps and activities while defending against distractions and providing a clear pathway to success. 


The development of a meaningful, motivating personal mission statement is easier than one would think and doesn’t need to be done perfectly on the first take – it can be a statement that can be revisited and can grow as we mature – like Apple’s and AA’s.


One can find an abundance of resources available online that guide the exercise and examples of others' statements, which you can undoubtedly adopt as your own

The point is to invest the time to clarify direction and establish the foundation for one's efforts and to take the time to construct a creed that makes you tick. Again, It can be somebody else's that resonates with you, a combination of others you find, or custom-made. 


Defining purpose is the goal.


Author and career coach Dan Miller says a good mission statement should include three things: Your skills and abilities (what you like to do), Your personality traits (how you operate), Your values, dreams, and passions (why you want to excel).  At a minimum, the paragraph should contain two essential parts:  what you want to accomplish and what qualities you want to display 


Our aim statements, for example, include being a “thrower of seeds of sobriety and spirituality,” “conduits of unconditional love,” and “legacy builders.”  We have also integrated elements from AA and other service entities as serving is our core value.  And we, of course, have incorporated the AA's primary purpose - to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. – in our assertions, hoping that our walk reflects our talk.


Today, we act on purpose – we move on mission.



 

 

Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #43, titled “Richard Jensen - "Finding Your Vehicle" - It's Never Too Late!””… The session dropped on 1/26/2022….Click here to hear the podcast. 


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


BLOG DISCLAIMER:

Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.

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