Most of my adult life I have struggled with the difference between Purpose, Mission and Vision. It seemed important to me to work out what mine are, but how can I do that if I can’t discern the difference between the three?
This spring I joined a group of half a dozen earnest men to talk about Purpose, Mission and Vision. Our leader Tim suggested that we could think of the three words as follows: Purpose is your “Why?’, as in “Why are you here?”. Mission is your means of getting to your destination. The engine that propels you. The “How”, if you will. And Vision is the “What”, as in “What does your destination look like?”.
A key learning for me is that we tend to start with What because it’s tangible and easier to grasp. We then work our way to How, and hopefully reverse-engineer our Why. And of course that would be backwards. We should start with our Why and work through our core values. Once we are confident that we have crafted our Purpose then our Mission and Vision follow naturally.
I will share my Purpose, Mission and Vision in the next three posts. They are far from perfect, but I think they do sound like me.