Have A Clear Mission For Your Business (Part III)
Have a Clear Mission for Your Business
Building A Legal Practice Designed To Last, Part III
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible” – T.E. Lawrence
Most businesses exist with the silent and pathetic goal of making money. You could not have a more lackluster PRIMARY reason for coming into the office everyday.
Ask a member of your legal team why they come to work. If they tell you that they have bills to pay that’s understandable, but is that the only reason they give for coming into the office? We have all been in an office, where it is obvious that people clock in and clock out solely for a paycheck. In these places, a worker could be mid-sentence with a customer, but when the clock strikes 5:00 they hang the phone up, and slow moving as they might be normally, they are now literally running towards the door with the speed of Usain Bolt.
So how can you prevent a paycheck only mentality? Human beings are dreamers. We need purpose with lofty objectives. If your staff is burned out, not invested, and bored with the office environment, this could very well be the result of a lack of a very clear worthwhile Mission for your business.
What are the mission, the purpose, and the goals of your business? Does every employee know the business’ Mission Statement? Do you have a Mission Statement?
“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” – Mark Twain
If you don’t have any other purpose for your business than to make money, how can you expect your employees to be looking for something more? If you don’t have a destination in mind for the road trip your business is going to take, don’t start the engine.
A holistic organization/organism – Having a Mission helps you view your practice as a Business as opposed to a collection of jobs. When the primary purpose of the business is to accomplish altruistic goals, the focus on each person’s individual paycheck fades and something greater brings the entire team together as a collective. Having a worthwhile mission as the backbone of your office will change the atmosphere in your office from a collection of individuals working for individual financial goals into a team moving toward a common purpose.
None of this is to say that a paycheck is not important. It is vitally important to you and to the members of your team, but higher paychecks alone will not get your team members to invest in the vision you have for your legal practice.
How do you decide on a Mission for your business? There are a number of ways to formulate a Mission Statement for your business. One way is to consider what your law firm is bringing to the legal marketplace that does not currently exist. Another way is to consider the value (what do we get) and the values (what do we give) you want your business to bring to the world, to your family, and to your team members. The important thing is that your mission statement should be guiding your entire organization forward. Without a Mission we are stuck in the never-ending mouse wheel of handling one case after another. You cannot properly implement a marketing strategy, a personnel strategy, a financial strategy, etc. without an endgame.
Your law firm’s mission or business roadmap should steer all of your major business decisions. Every business decision can be preliminarily evaluated against the question “how would this help us carry out our Mission?”
“There is no more powerful engine driving an organization toward excellence and long-range success than an attractive, worthwhile, achievable vision for the future, widely shared.” – Burt Nanus
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