“Let your life be a stepping stone to Christ and not a stumbling block.” 1 Cor. 8:13 & 10:31
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven." Matt. 5:16
By Rick Boxx
Not long ago Steve, a friend of mine, was asked, "If you started your business over again, what would you do differently?" Steve answered quickly and decisively: "I would immediately clarify the vision, mission, and values of the business and constantly communicate it to staff."
Over time, Steve had discovered that once his team gained a clear understanding of who they were, and were all aligned regarding where they were headed, the business became much more efficient and effective. In essence, they had answers to three key questions: “Where are we headed?” “How are we going to get there?” “How will we know when we have arrived?”
Max DePree, former CEO of an office furniture company and author of several books, observed that clear communication within an organization is essential to its optimum operation. He said, “Relationships within corporations improve when information is shared accurately and freely.”
This principle is true for any endeavor in life – whether planning family activities, going to war, or carrying out charitable initiatives. But in the business and professional world, where unique individuals offering a variety of abilities, interests and experience are blended together, the need for clarity of vision, mission and values cannot be overestimated.
To ensure success, there should be no confusion about plans, goals, expectations, responsibilities or roles. And this communication should not sporadic; it needs to be continuous and complete.
This is why some organizations physically display statements of mission and vision throughout their offices and facilities. Writing these documents serves little value if they are filed in drawers and forgotten. And if these statements are periodically reviewed during staff meetings, it keeps them in the forefront of everyone’s mind.
In the Bible, the best manual for the marketplace ever compiled, we see many instances where the need for clear expression of vision and mission are underscored. For example, God instructed the prophet Habakkuk, "Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail" (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
At the close of his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ made a clear statement of both mission and vision to his “staff” – his faithful followers: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). In this concise directive, Jesus affirmed to his followers who they were, where they were to go, and what they were to do.
Bringing that concept back to the workplace setting, it is difficult for any staff team to be productive if they don't know where they're headed. So remember to cast vision – regularly and consistently.
Copyright 2011, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick’s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.