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clarify personal mission

How to Clarify Your Personal Mission

Position alone doesn’t make you a good leader. Today we’ll learn how clarifying your personal mission is the foundational step to helping your team align with goals and then execute them.



Leadership is about more than just managing human resources. If you want to be successful at leading others, you have to first master the art of leading yourself.
– Phil Owens, corporate behaviorist

Creating an environment of success and communicating purpose to others requires first understanding yourself and what motivates you.

When you know what YOU want to accomplish, and why, you can communicate purpose and values to those you lead, so they embrace team goals.

To gain insight into what you want to achieve, ponder what your life might look like 10 or 20 years down the road. The desire for significance in life is universal – and critical to achieving your goals over the long term.

Defining what brings significance to your life will help you focus on ways you can achieve your life purpose. Answer a few questions to help you determine your personal mission as the first step toward cultivating effective leadership.



A personal mission statement is not a list of specific goals or tasks. It’s broader than that. It’s a philosophy of life that guides your planning and goal setting.

Steven Covey calls it “…your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values.”

Here are two examples of mission statements, one work-related and one related to family:

  • Use my skills and position to be a source of emotional, social, and financial good in this company.
  • Parent my children to become responsible, independent, and empathetic adults.

It’s okay to create just one statement, or one that’s work-related and one for your personal life. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect! You can refine them anytime.

Take a few minutes right now. Step away from everyday pressures and write answers to the questions below.

Use these questions to help you craft your personal mission statement:

  1. What motivates you? What brings you the greatest joy or satisfaction?
  2. What does success look like to you?
  3. What unique role(s) are you able to fulfill in people’s lives?

Now write out your personal mission statement.

My personal mission:

Once you’ve stated it clearly, ask yourself: Am I bringing my personal mission to bear in all areas of my life? 

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