Your professional mission and vision statements

The initial meeting of my Communication Seminar course was last evening. And it’s in that first class that I talk to students about establishing their professional mission and vision statements.

I remind them that their mission statement is what they do and their vision statement is what they aspire to be. I suggest that these statements form the base of a triangle, and sitting at the apex of that triangle are their professional values.

Their values must be important enough to be the proverbial hill that they would die on; in effect, if they were placed in a position where their professional values could not be lived, then they’d have to go somewhere else. Why? Because if they abandoned that particular value, then it wasn’t really one to begin with.

Of course, their mission and vision statements are works in progress; at times, the students seem surprised when I say it took me well over a decade in higher education before I could really lock in what I wanted mine to be. And that’s why I want them to begin crafting theirs now.

With that as the setup, I now share with you those statements:

MISSION: To walk into each classroom prepared as best as possible so that students have the best opportunity to learn

VISION: To be the educator students prefer to talk to for advice relevant to them

So, I’m curious: Do you have mission and vision statements that guide your professional life? If you do, would you consider sharing them?

As for my students, they have until next Thursday’s class to come up with theirs. They know that as we discuss them I’ll be challenging them to prove they already have lived or are prepared to live the words in their statements. I hope you’re always ready to prove yours.

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