Leadership is not just about skills, it’s also about your mindset.
I learned about leadership, at least initially, mostly by observing leaders in real life and, sometimes, from novels, movies, or television shows. The qualities I observed resonated with me, and I told myself that I’d like to be an effective leader like those I have observed.
The problem, though, was that most of those leaders I sought to imitate often seemed perfect. Perhaps they were not actually perfect, but they do seem that way.
我与团队领导者及他们的团队协作时，常遇到对 “团队” 有不同的见解。一位领导者可能用这词来代表所有在他之下工作的每一个人，而另一位领导者可能只用这词来代表某些人。
即使在同一个团队里，每个成员也可能对 “团队” 这词有不同的理解；有些甚至与他们的领导者的理解不同。
The word “Team” means different things to different people.
When I work with team leaders and their teams, I often encounter different notions of what the “team” really is. One team leader may use the word to refer generally to everyone who works under him, while another might refer to a specific group of people.
Even within a team, each member might have a different understanding of what the “team” is; this might even be different from the team leader’s understanding!
Leadership involves making decisions.
Getting a team to move towards fulfilling its goals involves numerous decisions.
But right from the get-go, there is one important decision that a leader needs to make. This decision will shape the leader and the team in a profound way. It will affect how he or she leads, how the team interact with the leader, the culture of the team, etc.
Your team’s (or organisation, church, and even personal) mission gives clarity to your direction, informs your strategies and, together with your purpose, forms the basis of all your critical decisions.
The mission statement spells out your mission so that stakeholders (the team leader, team members, partners, target audience, customers, etc.) knows what you do. For yourself and your team, it serves as a reminder to help you stay on course. For others, it helps to differentiate you from other teams or organisations.
As I work with teams during the past 20 years, I often come across mission statements that are either so vague that they don’t tell me anything useful, or are so generic that they could just as well be the mission statement of another team!
These vague or generic mission statements are practically useless.
“What is your team’s mission?” I asked the team members in the room.
They recited their mission statement, verbatim.
“Great! What does it mean?” I asked again.
What followed was several different explanations about the team’s mission. And “Oh, I thought this meant…”, “Wait, wasn’t this supposed to be…”, “I don’t think that’s part of what we do…”, etc.
This wasn’t an isolated incident.