321 | Don’t Be Shark Bait: Define Your Mission, Achieve Your Purpose

In the next 15 seconds… could you recite your company’s Mission Statement by heart? Could the entire leadership team repeat it?

Can you see the mission being reflected in…:

  • Team conversations?
  • Actions and attitudes in the culture?
  • Tasks?

The more your mission drives your culture, the less time you will spend “fixing” bad actions and attitudes.

Define your Mission Statement to guide culture, inspire team members, and clearly guide your decision-making:

Key Takeaways:

  • The red flag you need to spot related to your Mission [4:22]
  • The two reasons people show up when there is no clear mission (these motivations breed toxicity in your culture) [5:30]
  • Finding your mission when you’re not in the “life-change” business [6:23]
  • 3 questions you must ask today about your mission [7:23]
  • How The Poimen Group came to be [11:17]
  • How we live out our Mission Statement in our culture here [18:22]
  • What your mission statement should be [24:03]
  • How to get mission alignment with daily tasks on your team [25:03]

Episode transcript:

Chris LoCurto: Have you started to drift from your original purpose? Are you settling for less in your business? More on that coming up next.

Welcome to the show folks. Let me ask you a question. Let’s say you had a bucket list item of sailing across the globe, and so you reached out to a company and learned that their entire mission and method is to just set sail and see how it goes. No determined timetable, no charted path, and no real mission to get you to a specific place in a specific way at a specific time. Would you hop on that boat?

Of course, you wouldn’t, but if you would, we’d have a whole other set of problems we need to talk about. Now we all know that that would be insanity, right? We would get lost. We’d become shark bait and ain’t nobody got time for that. So here’s the thing. Today we’re talking about, what is your defined purpose for your business or the team that you lead or the roller, or what you hope to accomplish.

Is there even a defined purpose? Usually, where there’s a lack of defined purpose, there’s a lack of mission or mission statement or you have a mission statement that’s useless or you haven’t even used it or you’re not leveraging it to drive results and keep your company and your team aligned. So let’s start from the beginning of a mission statement and what that is or what a mission is.

So we were talking about a mission is the ultimate thing I’m talking about today, but a lot of people focus on a mission statement. We have a whole lesson inside of Next-Level Mastermind that teaches this kind of stuff. The formal definition is the written summary of the aims and values of a company, organization or individual. Now, what does that even mean? For me, it’s stating the purpose of why you exist. Let me say it again.

It’s your purpose for existence. Now you can have a personal mission statement. You can have a team mission statement. You can even have a project mission statement. You can have a business mission statement no matter what it is…

People get all kinds of crazy around this and come up with all kinds of stuff and try and make it sound corporate and try and make it sound something that they can slap on a wall and that’s fine, but here’s what I find all the time. Nobody even knows what it is. So let me ask you this question. While you’re listening to the show, ask yourself this question.

Do you know your mission statement by heart right now? Could you repeat it to me right now? I can worship God by loving his children and guiding individuals and organizations to a greater perspective. No, I don’t have a note here in front of me.

No, I didn’t think about looking that up. I know that inside and out, that’s exactly what we do. That’s our mission. Our mission is to worship God. Our mission is to love his kids and our mission is to guide people to a greater perspective. Now, people would say all the time, you’ve changed my life. People do. They say you’ve changed my life, you’ve changed my business, you’ve changed all these different things.

The reason why our mission is to guide people to great perspectives is that we can’t actually change you. We can only get you the greatest information. You have to change yourself. So that’s why that is what it is in our mission statement. Now let me ask you, were you able to repeat back your mission statement if you are not, there’s the first problem.

The next question is, can your leadership team repeat the mission statement and all of my years of doing Stratplans and all of my years, I have yet to have a leadership team be able to repeat the mission statement.

Not once, not once has everybody on the leadership team been able to repeat the mission statement. At best, I’ve had one or two people and that’s it. In any StratPlan event I’ve ever done, why? Because we don’t really understand what a mission statement is and why we should have it. The mission statement is a foundational guide for direction and objectives and it should be a guide for you to make in-depth decisions.

It should be guiding your decision-making processes. It should be the thing that drives your purpose. It should be your purpose, so if you don’t know what your mission statement is, red flag, right? Let’s say you do. If your leadership team doesn’t know it, I guarantee you your team does not know it. If you’re on the leadership team and you’re not the business owner and you don’t know the mission statement, well again, red flag, right?

Then I would ask you what is your purpose for showing up every day and I would also lay down money that if you don’t know the mission statement, then your purpose is usually to come and make a paycheck. It’s usually to show up and get approval for productivity. It’s to show up and get people to say that you’re great or you’re amazing because that’s what else are you going to go for. If there’s not a greater purpose, what are you showing up for? People show up for multiple reasons.

Money, which tends to be every business that does not have a great purpose, personal productivity, or praise, which is how can I do as much as I possibly can to get people to recognize me and notice me? And the third is if somebody has put a phenomenal mission in place and it’s bigger than themselves, then people will show up for that.

For those that have been in our office, you have no doubt our people show up every single day because of our mission. It’s way bigger than us. It’s about changing lives. Well, Chris, that’s great, but look at what you guys do. Yeah, I get that all the time. All the time guys. Listen, I’m in the same boat with you. I understand what it’s like.

I know what it’s like. I came from where you’re at. That’s why I’m teaching this stuff. That’s why I’ve been doing this for decades. Right? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the… You know what? If all you do is pour concrete, Chris, what’s the great mission there? Well, let’s take a look at it. Are you pouring concrete in the same hole for 40 hours a week well, of course not. Well, what are you doing with that concrete?

Oh, I dunno. Building a driveway or building a patio in the backyard. Well, what happens when you build that patio? What did those people do with it? I Dunno. Have barbecues on it or you know, sit out and sunbathe or whatever. Okay, so it enhances their life. Hmm. I never thought about that. Yeah, I guess it does. Okay.

Then you’re doing something that’s changing somebody’s life. You’re not just pouring concrete. The only time you’re just pouring concrete is if that’s what your focus is. If you don’t get to see, if you don’t have a leader who’s helping you to see something bigger than that, then that is your purpose. Just pour concrete, and get a paycheck. But when you can see that you’re changing, lives are affecting lives now the purpose becomes something bigger than yourself. So you have to ask yourself, do I have a mission statement?

Do I know it? Does my team? Does my leadership team note this? If they don’t, all right. Number one problem. The second thing is do I have a mission statement that’s driving me or the team? Let’s say that they do know it. Is it just a plaque on the wall or is it actually doing something? Is it driving the team? Every day my team shows up and they know we are to love on people.

We are to take care of people and take care of them well. When somebody walks in the door, you greet them, you take care of them. You know, we’ve got people coming in every single week for events every week. How do you treat those people when they walk in the door? There’s a reason that people keep coming back. Our clients, our Next-Level Mastermind clients, every time they come in, we do quarterly retreats here or they show up, you know, doing the Next-Level Life for StratPlan or something.

But when they walk in the door, so many of them walk in the door and literally say, I’m home. Folks that is a powerful thing. The first time I heard that, it just blew me away. I’ve heard it so many times now. It just warms my heart every time I hear it, that people are coming into a culture, into a place where they know they’re going to be taken care of, they’re going to be loved on like family and it’s, it’s not a sideshow. It’s real stuff.

It’s genuine. People love showing up to take care of other people. So does your mission statement drive your team? Does it drive you? How has the mission statement been lived out in your culture? Can you see it? If you can’t see your mission statement is lived out in your culture intentionally…Now, if you are looking at your culture and going, well, we accidentally do live that out.

It’s not an intentional thing. That’s a problem. That’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for you to be able to see that it’s being lived out intentionally. Right?

We’re back and we’re talking about mission statements and right now, mission statement alignment. What does that even look like? So our mission statement, how it came to be. So for me, one, and let me go back in time, I needed to do a little like minor sound. The Poimen group, let me start out with how the name came about.

So when I started this business, I knew that the brand Chris LoCurto was going to be the brand, but I wanted a corporate name that represented who we were. And so I reached out to a fantastic friend of mine and said, Hey, I need a corporate name. Give me some ideas, give me some thoughts. And she sent back the name Poimen. I read this, this was over text and I went Poimen that sounds lame.

And so I sent a text back saying I appreciate that, but that sounds lame. And she goes, Chris, you need to look this up. This is you. You’re a healer, this is who you are. And so I looked it up and it was a specific time. By the way, Poimen is Greek. It’s a specific type of shepherd. The kind of shepherd who loves his flock heals his flock, feeds his flock would leave the 99 for the one, you know that type of person.

And it just floored me. I was just blown away that that’s how she saw me. But I still thought the name and that people were going to mess it up all the time. So I actually reached out to a bunch of our top followers at the time. This is a long time ago. I reached out to our top followers and I said, hey guys, throw out a name.

We’re looking for a corporate name. Give me some ideas. Never told them about Poimen and out of 10 people, 10 people responded immediately. Two of them came back with the name Poimen. Now to me, three people came with a name that I’d never even heard before. Plus it’s a Greek name. It’s not like it’s just a word that people are, you know, focusing on a continuous basis.

I knew that was a good thing and I knew that God was trying to tell me something that this was going to be more than just helping people in businesses, that we were going to be shepherding people and helping you know, to grow people and lead them in the right direction and, and feed them spiritually. And literally, if you come to our offices, you will actually eat lamb as well and bison and all that kind of fun stuff, which we, unfortunately, have to suffer for you guys and eat every week.

Yep. Me and Joel, when Joel and I do events and now Rebekah is on board, she’s going to be doing events. So that’s how our name came about. It was not long after that that I was still focusing on, okay, what is our mission? What is our purpose here?

And at this point, God is showing me more and more stuff about how we help people. And again, constantly we would get, and still to this day we get, people would say, Chris, you’ve changed my life. This business has changed my life. Your team has changed my life. Being in this event with you, with Joel, with you know, sitting through the retreats. Your team is amazing. You guys have changed my leadership team. You know, you’ve changed my kids’ lives. We hear that all the time and we praise God for that. And we are. We are humble and we receive that.

But here’s the big key. What we will tell people is, listen, we just guided you to the information you chose to do the heavy lifting we guided you to that great perspective. You chose to make the changes in your life. You had to do this, so thank you. We are blessed that we could be a part of your life, but you actually made the changes in your life.

And so as I was putting the mission statement together, there was one thing I was very aware of and that is that I wanted worshiping God to be the biggest focus. When people come through. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever actually shared this on the show, but profit is not our number one motivating factor. God is. Changing lives is number two at the best profit as our third motivating factor. Now we will have businesses come through and leaders come through and business owners come through and we will do so much to help you grow your business, grow your profits, grow your revenues, grow your team, grow your communication, grow your accountability.

There’s so much stuff that we will do to help you, but one thing when it comes to us is God is our number one motivating factor by far, and next is changing lives. How do we help people? Ever since. Gosh, I don’t even know how long you guys probably just heard Tom Ziglar on the show recently.

I was blessed to be able to meet and spend time with his father back early two thousand what a phenomenal guy. And I’ll never forget sitting there while Zig was talking about, “Listen, if you just help enough people, if you just help enough people, the money will come. Everything else comes. Just help people the best you can.”

And that was a powerful piece for me because I had spent my life helping people. Now in my early days, I helped people because I was a people pleaser. So I helped people because I felt it was my responsibility to make them happy.

And God showed me that, nope, that is not it. You’re supposed to do this for me. Do all of this work as unto me, not as unto yourself. So that was a big shift in my life. So as we put this business together, one of my main focuses was, you know, if I’m worshiping God, what’s a great way to worship God by loving his kids, taking care of his kids?

Now obviously I put the this took a lot longer than what I’m sharing right now to put the mission statement together. If you put it together in five minutes, it’s probably not really summing up you know your purpose, but for me, I’m looking at the purpose of this business and I’m thinking, worshiping God’s got to be at the top, loving on his kids has got to be next and then what is the greatest thing we can do if we push aside the thought that we’ve changed lives because it’s not that we literally changed and people had to do it on their own, then what does that mean?

And one of our biggest focuses in every event that we do, whether it’s Next-Level Life, whether it’s Stratplan, or whether it’s with our Next-Level Mastermind clients, is that we guide people to greater perspective. Perspective. Is massive when you have got the right perspective, when you have got tons of perspective when you have removed all the bad perspective, it changes the way you make decisions. And so for me, it immediately hit home.

We guide individuals and organizations to a greater perspective. Now again, this took a while, but that’s how we came up with our purpose. We show up every day to worship God. We show up every day to love his kids. We show up every day to guide people to a greater perspective because if they have a greater perspective they can make incredible decisions, whether it is in their marriage, whether it is in their parenting, whether it is in their leadership, whether it is in their owning a business.

So that is our purpose. That’s why we show up every day. Now, how is that lived out in our culture? Well, I’ve shared a bunch of that. You can’t walk in the door here without, being mauled by people. going “Hey, welcome. So glad to have you here. Come on in. Do you want some coffee?”

By the way, we serve good coffee here. Do you want a glass of water? Come sit down. How are you? Where are you coming in from? I mean it’s just people stop their day. Yup. They stop their productivity as I do my air quotes to love on people walking in the door. They help them, guide them, they take care of them and they’re coming in. A lot of times you’ve heard on the Next-Level Life podcasts, the biggest fear people experience comes in as the fear of the unknown.

Right? People come in going, I don’t know what we’re going to discover. Only to leave going. Well, that was a silly fear. There wasn’t anything I discovered that I didn’t already know something about. You’re not going to discover something that’s shocking and surprising to you that you know you never knew and it’s going to hurt you. But people still come in going, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

There’s a, there’s a trepidation, there’s a level of fear. So our job is to put them at ease. How do we help them? How do we serve them? How do we take care of them so that they can feel comfortable walking in this building? So that is a big part of how you see that worked out. Um, the way that we stop in moments and pray for clients.

I couldn’t even give you a number of the times that we stop our business because something was going on with a client and brought everybody who can into our event space and just pray for a client. Every Thursday before we do a Next-Level Life before the clients get here.

We’re praying for clients, we’re doing things to worship God. We’re doing things to draw people closer to him. So it’s being lived out in our culture and it’s part of our decision-making process. It’s every bit of our decision-making process. There shouldn’t be a decision that’s made that does not align with our mission statement if this is our purpose, then every decision needs to be made around it.

So we don’t try and take advantage of clients. We don’t, that’s not our thing. We could care less. We will not receive clients who are going to be controlling abusive jerks. If they’re not willing to work with us and learn from us and grow from us and we don’t need their money. We don’t care. God’s going to send us other people. A big thing with Stratplan, the owner or CEO or president, whoever’s the energy of the company, if they’re not willing to go through Next-Level Life, I’m not taking the Stratplan you keep your money.

I don’t need it. If you’re not willing to see the things that you know, your root system, and how it’s affecting your business, then sorry, I’m not going to do your event. Why? Because that would not be worshiping God, and that would not be loving on his kids. That would be enabling, that would be allowing people to only focus on the things that they can control or want to control. That’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to help people make strong decisions, change their lives, make better decisions, better families, and all that kind of fun stuff. So in our decision-making, when you even take a look at our branding, when you take a look at our, our icon our logo. There are two pieces. There are two elements in there. There’s the shepherd’s crook and currently, there is the Arrow, which is probably changing to the shepherd’s Rod.

The concept of that is, is that we are the shepherds we’re trying to lift people up. We’re trying to, you know, if you take the crook on the end of a shepherd’s crook, it’s to help the sheep. It’s to help pull people up, pull them out of bad situations. The rod is to defend is to fight off the things that are affecting it.

And so for me, I originally put in the Arrow because a sword isn’t that came up. I’m like, no, that’s ridiculous. That’s too warrior-like that’s not the concept. The concept is to defend, take care of people, help defend the innocent, and help defend people that are going through ridiculously bad situations and we may be changing that to the shepherd rod. So that’s how it even takes a part in our decision-making process when it comes to things like our branding.

So how does mission statement alignment look in your business, on your team, and in your role? We’re going to talk about the alignment right after I let you know about one of my favorite services at the Poimen group. Next-Level Life is our two-day personal discovery experience. It’s a one-on-one personalized event where we guide you through a process to help you discover your root system, to get unstuck in life and to discover what’s holding you back from freedom and peace.

Imagine this, what if you could wake up every morning with a clear purpose? What would it look like to have healthier relationships with less conflict? Where would you be in a few months, a year, or five years if you had clarity, purpose, and peace? Probably a big difference from where you stand today. Now I know it’s possible because I’ve been where you are asking myself, is there more?

There is and there’s a better way and it starts with Next-Level Life. Click below to take the next step.

Now if you’re struggling with discontentment, regret or not feeling good enough, which most of you are, if you’re filled with anxiety or your relationships are lacking, don’t keep going through the same motions every single day.

So we’re back and we’re talking about the mission statement at your organization should explain to each team member why they do what they do and it should be visible in your culture. So at the front of the show I asked you, do you know your mission statement? Does your leadership team know your mission statement, does your team know your mission statement? If those answers are no’s, then those are big red flags.

Why don’t they? If they don’t, then obviously they don’t have the same purpose. Their purpose for showing up is definitely not what you intended it to be because it obviously can’t align with the mission statement that they don’t know. If I don’t know what my purpose is, then I choose my purpose. Right? You might be lucky and some of them actually accidentally align and hey, that’s great, but once again, it should be driving why they show up and why they do what they do.

So if we don’t have that, that’s the first, you know, big red flag. We got to figure that part out. The second question to ask is do they know how their daily tasks are aligned to it? Now this is a huge topic and we’re going to be releasing an episode next week on the task result gap and how to get your team aligned and accountable to the mission producing results instead of completing just a task list.

And I can’t wait for that episode, but the key is if their daily tasks don’t align well, Chris, how in the world can every task align? Well if you look through their tasks, all you have to ask is does this task align with the very purpose of why we’re doing what we’re doing?

What you may discover and discover quickly is, and this happens with a lot of businesses, you may have areas of your business, and you may have roles in your business that do not align with your mission. They were put there at some point because it seemed like a smart idea. It seemed like a good idea. You might have people doing things that really don’t align with that process or that purpose and until you get that laid out, that mission, it makes it very difficult to know whether or not people’s daily tasks are aligned with it.

So question for you, if their tasks do not align with your mission statement, what does that mean about the tasks they’re doing? Are they doing the smartest stuff? Are they doing the things you want them to do? Are they producing the results that you want them to produce?

There’s a good chance that if it doesn’t align with your mission statement, then no. They may be focusing on something that you want to boot, you know you want to get rid of. Or maybe your mission statement is something that you inherited from somebody else.

And you never actually sat down and wrote one for, you know, when you took over leadership or whatever. And maybe it needs to be redone. I don’t know. But the key is, is it’s very difficult to lead people toward a purpose when they don’t know what the purpose is.

It’s very difficult to hold people accountable for their daily tasks being a part of a purpose if they don’t know what it is. So how do we get that mission statement in place? How do we get alignment with the tasks? Can you see, another way is, can you see the mission statement being reflected in the actions and the attitudes and the conversations that you have?

Now for me, I’m always going to say that culture comes down to two things, actions, and attitudes. Do you see those actions that align with your mission statement? Do you see those attitudes that aligned with your mission statement? It is not uncommon for me, and this rarely ever happens, but if a team member does something that does not align with that mission statement, I will call it out. Something so simple as breakfast or food here. In this culture.

The ladies are going to go first. I don’t care. The men can all stand and wait. The ladies are going to go first. When we have clients in on a Thursday morning and we have men and women clients coming in, the ladies from the clients are going to go first.

Then our ladies who know that their butts better be standing there ready to go, not somewhere else in the building, lollygagging because we now have clients waiting on us. They’re all standing there ready to go and they dish up their food and then our, our gentleman clients come in and they do theirs and then the rest of the men on the team go.

That is something that is an action and an attitude that I have pushed in this business. We serve people, we honor people, we love people, and we do things with the right attitude.

We don’t jump in line and go before our clients and take food. We just don’t do that. It doesn’t happen. There’s nobody on this team that does that because they know that would be ridiculous. Serve the client, take care of the client, and let them go first. We’ll go after that.

We’ve got plenty of time. We’re going to be good. When you watch the conversations around here, there is rarely a tough conversation that is needed to be had in this building with this team. There are plenty of tough conversations as we help people through events and stuff, but with the team, there’s rarely a tough conversation that has to happen. Why?

Communication is so high as core value inside of this business. Why? Because when you communicate well, you can love people well, and you can take care of people well. When you communicate well, you guide people to a better perspective, so it is not difficult for us to see it being acted out in every area of this business.

So that question is what I want you to ask yourself. Do you see your mission being reflected in your actions and attitudes? Do you see it being reflected in the conversations? Do you see it being reflected in the tasks? Are Your leaders leading and making decisions according to your mission statement? If these things are not happening, then we’ve got to do something about that.

The more your mission statement drives your culture, the less time you will spend fixing bad actions and attitudes. Now, if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode on creating a culture of champions, it’s episode number 320 make sure you go back and give that a listen. If you haven’t already, we’ll put it in the show notes. So here’s the thing, we have a download for you. If you haven’t done your mission statement and haven’t been refreshed in a while or no one really knows, uh, what it is or, well, then we’re going to give you a pdf to help you out with this.

It’s going to have nine questions, for you to ask to craft that statement, refresh it or you know, remind your team why there is a mission statement there in the first place and what it is. So you can download that at chrislocurto.com/321 and you can get that download and get started on that mission statement today. Leader.

Here’s what I want you to know. The team member who wants to be a leader someday, business owner, whoever you are that’s listening. You need to have your purpose laid out. You need to understand your purpose of why you show up every day. Once again, business is what you do. It’s not who you are. Don’t show up and let your job, your role, or your business, be your identity. Have a greater purpose than that.

Have a purpose that aligns with your belief systems. Have a purpose that you know. Those of you that are believers have a purpose that aligns with God. Have a purpose that your whole team can get behind every single day. If you do that, then you will do what we say at the end of all these shows. As always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.



Vision Casting Strategy and your Calling

Episode 320: Finding Your Authentic Self

Download the episode | Get the transcript



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

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