When I ask a new employee what a mission statement is, the answer usually has something to do with a vision or a goal. Which is very true. Yet to me, it is a way of living that helps me become the very best version of myself.
In the beginning, Rand and I really didn't know how to run a business (truth be told - we are still learning new things every single day!) We knew we had to work hard. We knew how to bake bread. We knew how to run registers, and serve customers. But leading a group of people to a higher place... Well, we hadn't really given it any thought.
Funny thing was, neither had the franchise. So maybe it was a universal searching time, but whatever it was - around 1997 we started searching for a vision of where we were going - rather than just making the best of where we were at currently...
What we came up with has changed the person I am. So much of what our mission statement holds up as touchstones, are the things that come very naturally for Rand - and yet for me, they were a real struggle.
As Rand would describe it; he is the one that gets us off the cliff, and I'm the one who figures out how to get the parachute open before we hit bottom (hopefully!) Our mission statement has helped me breakdown the parts and pieces of Rand's personality - which has enabled me to soften my edges, learn to laugh more, figure out how to break the process down in order to teach others, and it has made life a lot more enjoyable.
I was doing a "philosophy overview and training" for one of our new employees, and I made her the same promise I make all employees. If you truly give your heart to living this mission statement, it will change your life. It will increase your personality, and you will be a better person because of your efforts. That sounds like a pretty big promise... But it is a truth.
Celebrate Everyone - Any thoughts on what that might mean in your life? For us it means the end of categorizing, and objectifying others. As it is so beautifully put in the movie "Avatar" it's a process of 'SEEING YOU'. It's the process of seeing and celebrating the humanness of each of us! It is not the cultural norm, yet as your view begins to open to this way of looking at others - the world literally changes color!
Be Loose and Have Fun - This is a way of dealing with stressors. It's a way of looking at challenges. It's an attitude of dealing with hard things. And truly - it's what makes life (including work) a LOT more fun!
Make Phenomenal Products! If you aren't aiming for an A+ you simply aren't going to get there. It needs to be a conscious goal every single day. Phenomenal is AWESOME! It also gives us a bar so we can honestly look at where we are, analyze what is, make adjustments, and continue to learn and improve. It opens our mind to coaching, to looking for ways to improve. Phenomenal isn't a destination, it is a living breathing thing that we are constantly working towards.
Run FAST to help others - Energy begets energy. The more energy you bring - the more is created. Shuffling through life will never get you anywhere very fun or very fast. So pick up your feet and RUN.
Create a Strong and Exciting Bakery. Strength comes from knowing and performing your job, and then understanding how that fits with others. It then involves having the courage, and foresight to reach out and help those around you in your extra minutes during the day. Strength is built together with a sense of community.
Give Generously to OTHERS... This is something that is so easy for Rand. I used to look at life from a point of limited quantities. Rand simply never saw life from that point of view. I have learned from him, that life is about abundance and sharing that plenty with others is a beautiful way to have abundance in your own life. It may not make sense on paper... but it is a natural law of the universe. Share your heart, your time, your resources, and of course - your bread.
So grateful for these guiding principles in my own life - and so humbled to have watched these truths change so many lives as they have opened their hearts to them... Life is awesome, HARD, and worth the effort!