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This episode is a business coaching course that teaches how to create your mission statement.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Editor's Note: Clay was not good enough to become the "United States Small Business Administration's Large Business Entrepreneur of the Year." For that we judge him.
  • NOTABLE QUOTABLE: “A mission statement is not something you write overnight... But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.”
    -Stephen Covery
    (Author of 7 habits of highly effective people)
  • Editor's Note: Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
  • Editor's Note: "More than 38 years ago, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher got together and decided to start a different kind of airline. They began with one simple notion: If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline." Southwest.com
  • Editor's Note: The 10 Commandments movie starred Charlton Heston who was a client of Thrive15.com mentor, Michael Levine.
  • NOTABLE QUOTABLE: "Writing a mission statement is a complete waste of time if it is not something that you will use to unify and inspire your team."
    -Clay Clark
    (Former U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year)
  • Definition Magician: A Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.
  • NOTABLE QUOTABLE: “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
    -- Jack Welch
    (The legendary CEO of GE who grew the company by 4,000%)


-You've got to break it up a little bit. You've got to see the possibilities, man. You've got to aim big because your life is worth it.


-And we're back, Thrivers. We are so excited to be with you guys today. We've got the Clay Clark, also known as Claytron, US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year.

-Yeah, and if I was better, I would've been the large business entrepreneur of the year, but that's just a weakness in my own life.

-We're working on that.

-Working on it.

-OK. But today we are here, we are talking about specifically how to articulate and own your mission statement. So previous trainings we've talked about what's included in a mission statement. In this training right now, we're going to talk about specifically how to construct that and then own it, make it a part of your company's brand and organization. So we're excited to get into it.

Clay, I want to hit you with a notable quotable here to get us started, OK? Here it is. "A mission statement is not something you write overnight, but fundamentally your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life." This is from Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What is Stephen Covey talking about here?

-Well, with your mission statement you need to look at it as though you're writing a constitution. So just like the US Constitution has amendments, we've made some changes, as an example, at Thrive. I think everybody knows this, but I can't say it enough. At Thrive we believe that entrepreneurship, or business success, is an equal opportunity deal. I don't care whether you're black, white, Asian, what country you're from. It doesn't matter to me. It matters that anybody who wants to move beyond surviving, in my mind, deserves to know how to do that. They need to know. It's up to you whether you do it or not.

The Constitution at one point was written in a way where an entire group of people-- an entire ethnic group of people-- were allowed to be enslaved not too long ago. People could actually not vote because of the color of their skin. They couldn't start certain businesses because of the color of their skin. They couldn't go into banks because of the color of their skin. So people decided, hey, you know what? We probably need to amend and/or update this bad boy and add an amendment, and that's what happens. That's how the Constitution is amended.

Now, you don't amend it where it's just random and you're going, let's take a marker and write through that part. No, you have to think about it and articulate it, but a mission statement should be an evolving document. But as your mission statement gets more and more refined, it'll start to help you learn how to make all the tough decisions.

So the best example I like to go back to a lot because it's so simple and it makes sense-- Southwest Airlines is founded to be the low fare airline. They want to make travel affordable for the whole planet. So every decision they make is based upon keeping fares low and to make travel affordable for other people. That's the whole thing, like, that's their whole mission. And then how they do it has a little bit of humor mixed in and a lot of fun, that kind of thing.

But their whole thing is focused on low fares, so they only fly 737 planes, because that is the most economical way to do it. They only fly into certain cities because that's the most economical way to do it. They only offer peanuts on the plane because that's the most economical way to do it. They don't charge you for extra baggage because that's most economical way to do it. That is their whole value, their whole mission, and they didn't write it overnight. It took some time to develop that, but now it's something that they-- it's an ideal.

So the Constitution, do we break it occasionally? Yes. The 10 Commandments-- and for those of you who have a Judeo-Christian worldview-- do people occasionally screw up? Yes. If you're me, you screw up often, but we don't want to talk about that too much, but the point is it's your ideal. It's what you're driving towards. This should be a very exciting episode for anybody who's trying to galvanize your organization, to move beyond just surviving and into a place known as thriving.

-OK. And so as we get into it, we want to really begin constructing this mission statement, and so a lot of Thrivers, they're probably asking themselves, should I maybe watch some grass grow, or maybe should I study and create my company's mission statement? Clay, in your opinion, which is a better use of our time here?

-For most companies it would be better to watch grass grow. I think for most companies it just makes a lot more sense to spend time watching grass grow, because they're not written with any real rigor or any intensity. Their mission statements are written like it was almost like you have to put a mission statement on your operating agreement or something. It's almost like a legal requirement. People are treating mission statements as though they don't matter, but if you're going to write a real mission statement that actually matters, that defines your mission, then it's absolutely worth the time. But if not, go watch the grass grow or write a haiku.

OK. So Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, he grew the company by 4,000% here. He's a great person to quote here, but he says, "good business leaders, they create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and then relentlessly drive it to completion." So as we get into the principles for the training here today, we're specifically talking about articulating and owning that vision first. So that's what we're going to start with. The first three principles that we have is principle number 1, create the vision.


-Principle number 2, own the vision. Principle number 3, relentlessly drive it to a completion. So we're going to get started here with the first principle.

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