Build a Mission

Funny coincidence: “mission” the way we use it in business, and “mission” the way the Spanish priests used it to build colonial California. In both cases, it’s foundations. As the Spanish settled California, the conquistadores who explored were followed by clerics who built missions and invited the neighboring Indians to join them in creating farms, towns, and schools around the missions.

Last year I heard Eli Halliwell, CEO of Jurlique, talk about how much extra momentum he got as he worked with that company by building a team based on a shared mission. Jurlique is about natural, healthy cosmetics.

What reminded me of that was Seth Godin’s post In search of dolphin leather:

“Having a community-based quest means that there’s less room for whining, for infighting and for dissolution. Having a mission not only points everyone in the same direction, it also creates motion. And motion in any direction is often better than no motion at all.”

And although Jurlique comes to mind because Eli made his point very eloquently, you and I know companies like that, driven by missions. People can believe in a mission. It gives the team power and momentum. People are happier when they work on something they believe does some good to somebody.

Photo source: Mission San Diego de Alcala, flickr, by Allan Ferguson


  • Tiltassittatt says:

    Hi Sir:
    Excellent, parctical posts. Iv’e already “Twittered” it and forwarded your link to my clients to spread through their offices. I always gain from such posts. Thanks for sharing

  • kare anderson says:

    Having a share mission – AND a shared way of working together made a vital difference in the "cell" groups o the obama campaign:
    one clear goal for each team
    rules of engagement
    sweet spot of mutual benefit in getting to know each other, working together
    lead person for each tasks

    We became happier and higher-performing by bringing out the best talents in each other.. a time I will never forget, that has led to some teams working on other projects together

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