By Lisa Kendall
Working in Human Resources, I talk about our mission every day. In fact, it is my most important hiring criteria – do applicants understand our mission? Do they understand what we are trying to accomplish and how their daily interactions with our clients make that happen? So, I felt I got it, I mean, how can you talk about something every day and not get it? Not to mention, I studied mission statements in college, helped write them in former jobs, so yeah, I got it.
Well, life has a funny way of teaching us what we thought we already knew. Like most times, you have to experience something on a personal level before you can truly understand it. I had the privelage of experiencing it firsthand when I met my fiancé and his son John Aaron. John Aaron had spinea bifda. But, more importantly, he had goals, dreams and ambitions. He wanted to live in his own apartment, have a job, get an education, make his own medical decisions. He wanted to do his own grocery shopping, go drinking with his friends, ride a mechanical bull and feel the ocean. He did all of those things because of his determination and because of people in his life who realized that these things were important.
That is a mission statement. It is not just something you talk about in an interview, make sure is in the personnel manual or framed in your lobby. It is taking someone to a Cubs game, helping someone find employment that fulfills him, talking with someone about her dreams and finding ways to help make them a reality. It is assisting someone who is non-verbal to express himself, exposing him to new experiences so he can taste, feel and see life; riding the mechanical bull if you will and having the chance to fall off, laugh or cry, and then getting back on. I think that is a good “mission statement” for all of us.