At the end of Part 1 of this post, I shared with you the story of Kevin. Once again, while this wasn’t his real name, I can assure you that both Kevin and the circumstances in which he found himself were all too real.
Having had the time to think about Kevin’s situation, what would you do if you found yourself in a similar predicament? It isn’t an easy question to answer . . . or is it?
Before giving your answer, I would like to share with you the following excerpt from my book “The Future of You! Creating Your Enduring Brand”;
Regardless of the circumstances, one thing is undeniable: Your attitude and actions reflect your values. This means that being true to who you are oftentimes requires you to tap into your internal strength of character. Think of it in the context of being a ship with or without a rudder. When the waters get rough, a rudderless ship – or in this case an individual without a firm set of values, personal vision, and supporting network – will get tossed around, leaving its future vulnerable to the winds of chance. Without a rudder, ships are not in control of their own destiny. It becomes questionable as to whether they’ll make it into a safe harbor or run aground and get lost at sea. Conversely, a ruddered ship, while still experiencing the rolls of a violent sea, can stay the course – or at least get back on course having never relinquished control to the external forces of inevitable change.
Within the context of the above referenced excerpt, the answer while certainly complicated seems pretty clear. When you remain true to your values and yourself, you will ultimately persevere and find safe harbour. Conversely, if you choose (or are forced) to make decisions that go against your values, like that rudderless ship, you will forever be at the mercy of an unpredictable sea with no control over your present or future. Or to borrow one of the more famous lines from the movie Casablanca, when you compromise your values, you will live to regret it . . . maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
So even though we all often seek advice from family, friends and colleagues regarding important decisions, in the end, you and you alone are the only one who can make the decision regarding your career and life. While trusted advisers can help to bring a needed and at times objective perspective to a situation you are facing, like Kevin, you are the captain of your ship and the master of your brand.
This is why creating your Personal Mission Statement is so critical.
So What Is a Personal Mission Statement?
Paul B. Thornton, who is a professor of business administration as well as the author of twelve books including The Answers Are on the Office Wall, once said, “Without mission, there’s no purpose. Without vision, there’s no destination. Without values, there are no guiding principles.” A personal mission statement provides clarity and gives you a sense of purpose. It defines who you are and how you will live.
While I would direct you to check out the Second Chapter in my book “Creating Your Personal Mission Statement,” the key point relating to today’s post is that a Personal Mission Statement serves as your values touchstone, reminding you of whom you really are and where you want to go in life. It is your compass, keeping you on course towards your life’s mission no matter how volatile the seas of life become.
What about Kevin? Did he remain silent and simply transition into his new position, or did he tell his long term mentor and champion of the pending changes at the company?
All I can tell you is that after thinking long and hard, and reflecting on his own personal mission statement, Kevin made the right decision.