Leaders who are clear on Purpose and Mission foster learning opportunities for people in organisations

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In last Saturday’s Weekend Australian Weekend Professional Section, there was an interesting article about the value of Mission Statements to organisations if taken seriously. Leading Teams shared findings from a recent survey they completed with 500 employees in Australia; the findings were that 40% of respondents did not know their company’s Mission Statement and Values. Of those who did know only 1 in 10 thought their company’s Mission Statement and Values were meaningless.

While we have no further quantification to support these findings, anecdotally the work we do in organisations supports these findings. Further, we find through the focus group work we do with clients, one of the main contributors to the lack of knowledge or understanding of a company’s mission and values is confusion with the terms themselves.

Defining Why, What and what is Valued needs to remain in the responsible and safe hands of the senior leaders, however, strategies – How the Purpose and Mission are to be achieved needs to be open to all people so they can contribute ideas and formulate solutions. One of the most common mistakes we see leaders making is that they not only define Why and What needs to be done, they then direct people around How things are to be done.

This raises two questions; “who says their directions/solutions are right?” and “what impact does this level of direction have on people’s motivation across any organisation?”

Take a moment and think of all of those instances where your learning throughout your career has been greatest, we’re pretty sure you will say that that your greatest learning occurred when what had to be achieved was very clear to you and you were left alone to apply your knowledge, skill, expertise, intuition and judgement to figure out How to achieve the required outcomes. Nothing has changed.

One of the fundamentals of human motivation is the desire for opportunities and experiences to learn and develop knowledge. When what people have to achieve (Mission ) is clear, be it at the organisational, team or individual level, the scene is set for people to create and implement solutions to address opportunities and problems. The question for leaders is, how often you intentionally or unintentionally get in the road of people figuring out how to do something?


Vivente Australia enables leaders and managers develop the bond between people and performance, creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its best.