The most common cause of a startup’s demise is a lack of funds. Following that, your success will be determined by your team. You’re not going to be able to do it on your own. Still, any team will not suffice. A talented team isn’t always the best solution.
The team that will assist you in accomplishing your mission is one that is focused and committed to that mission.
Extend the mission
The mission you’re on defines the path your company and team will take. You may not believe that defining this in a mission statement is necessary because, in your mind, the mission is clear; you know internally what you are striving for because, as a founder, it is always at the forefront of your mind. A mission statement, on the other hand, is essential for inspiring and leading others.
It is your responsibility as a company leader to define that mission and create a vision for how your company will change the world. Drawing that straight line from 5-10 years ago to the present moment not only inspires others but also gives them a sense of purpose in the present. It is critical that the team understands that what they are doing today is defining the path to the larger vision.
A mission and vision statement are a good place to start, but they are insufficient.
It’s been said that the point at which you get tired of talking about your mission is when your team is just getting it. Defining the mission is insufficient. Sharing the mission is insufficient. You must exaggerate the mission. It’s a fact. Make it as big as you can. It’s something we talk about all the time. It should be at the end of every email. Regardless of the cost. It must become a felt and exemplified core part of the team in the work that you do.
Celebrate your victories
Celebrating victories, big or small, creates momentum, and momentum magnifies the mission.
Toms Shoes is an excellent example of a mission-driven organization that understands how to celebrate victories. Toms pioneered the “One for One” business model, donating one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. To commemorate victories, employees from all company teams take part in “shoe drop” events, in which they travel to other countries and distribute shoes to children in need. It’s a dynamic, living mission statement.
Visit the PatientPartner website to see photos and stories of people who have benefited from our mission to connect patients through a community of empathy and support. It’s an excellent way to attract new people who require our assistance, but it’s also an excellent way to demonstrate to our team that the mission is making a difference.
One of the most pivotal moments in our company’s history was when we realized that it was altruism from our members that was fueling our growth. Instead of compensating our mentors for connecting with patients in need, we decided to join them in their altruism by donating to a charity of their choice for each connection they make on our platform.
A good leader can convey the mission in a way that inspires and motivates others. An inspiring mission can fuel growth, and a satisfied customer/user will always testify to how life-changing it is.
Bemoan the losses
Long meetings, faulty technology, and burnout are all things you should protect your team from, but you should never hide the losses. You will frequently discover that you, as the company’s founder or leader, take losses much harder than the team. While some leaders believe it is important to keep business failures hidden, whether out of pride or fear that the news will demotivate employees. Don’t get caught up in your own thoughts. Allow business failures to refocus your team on the mission, rather than allowing the team to begin doubting the mission’s power.
Share the loss, learn from the loss, and triumph over the loss.
At PatientPartner, we understand that thousands of people struggle with the uncertainty and fear associated with medical procedures on a daily basis. Stephanie was among them. She gained “Confidence to get other opinions, to ask the right questions, and to feel more confident about not accepting my current symptoms as if I just have to live with them.” as a result of our team’s dedication to our mission.
While we celebrate Stephanie’s story, we know that thousands of others are still in need of what she discovered. To be a mission-focused team, we must celebrate our accomplishments while also remaining focused on the potential that has yet to be realized, drawing a straight line from the future to the present and living it every day.
Learn more from business and read the Top 10 team collaboration tools used in the business world.