One of the most important ongoing conversations a leader has is the one that keeps the mission on the front burner.  As this critically important conversation becomes less frequent or more muddled the likelihood that the mission is accomplished decreases.  How do you have the conversation?  I say “all the time and in as many ways as possible.”

Who do you think the most important person is to the Coca Cola company? The consumer? Which one? The coke drinker? Nope. It's actually the Pepsi drinker.

My default way is to find stories or metaphors that graphically illustrate the mission.  I loved this paragraph from Will Mancini’s Church Unique:

“Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that the church is only the church when it exists for others.  What keeps your church focused externally?  Who do you think the most important person is to the Coca Cola company?  The consumer?  Which one?  The coke drinker?  Nope.  It’s actually the Pepsi drinker (p. 123).”

That is a great way of thinking about mission.  Unless you’re in the business of caring for the already convinced you’ve got to be focusing on the unconvinced.  If success has anything to do with reaching new customers…you better keep that mission in front of your team all the time.

By the way, one of the earliest posts here at StrategyCentral was about carbonation in churches.  Like the line here about the most important person being a Pepsi drinker, the story in this early post is one I’ve told a thousand times.  It’s all about mission.

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