By: Christine Crosby, Editorial Director, GRAND – The Digital Magazine for GRANDparents
It may sound strange to have a family mission statement, but it’s a powerful tool and one I think we should all have in our family tool box. We recently interviewed Dr. Stephen Covey for GRAND Magazine. Dr. Covey has won many honors as an organizational consultant, family expert and author of such books as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The 8th Habit: and From Effectiveness to Greatness. In his interview he extolled the benefits of a solid family mission statement. Nothing is more important to Covey and his wife, Sandra, than their lifelong commitment to instilling principles and values in the lives of their children and 52 grandchildren. He and Sandra have ensured that everyone from the very youngest family member knows their Family Mission Statement:
“Gathering for Zion.” Zion means the four dimensions of life: one heart, one mind, live in righteousness, and no poor among them.
A family mission statement can help family members focus their thoughts which will ultimately affect the family’s destiny:
“Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.” Tyron Edwards
According to the authors of Creating Your Best Life, here are six steps—or prompts to help you create your family mission statement:
1. Ask yourself what your most cherished values are.
2. Ask yourself how you want others to remember you after your gone.
3. Ask yourself what words or phrases inspire you most from history, current events, politics, humanism, or religious work. Peruse a quote book or Internet site to get ideas.
4. Look at the mission statements of successful companies.
5. Be sure that you final mission statement is compelling, action oriented, inspirational, simple and easy to understand.
6. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Keep trying until you feel the “fit.”