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Keeping Grounded

As a leader, one of the things I loved about having a working mission statement is that it kept me grounded. But it was something I kept having to go back to, which is one reason I loved having the mission statement of R9 visible. It is easy to get bogged down in day-to-day work tasks. Sometimes, though, we find ourselves stuck in our work and wonder what direction we should go. Or wonder how we move forward? What steps to do we take? Whenever I would find myself in those situations where I felt like I was stuck for so long that a garden had started to grow around me, I would step back and look at my situation from the perspective of the R9 mission.

Sometimes, we just need to ask, “What do I need to do to fulfill the mission of our agency?” “Will staying stuck help me get where we need to be?” and “Will making this decision support the mission of R9?” If we can make a decision and can explain and believe that the decision is supporting the mission of R9, then we have the energy and confidence to get unstuck. We can move.

As leaders, we have the responsibility to keep the mission of R9 at the forefront, both with ourselves and the staff we support. Take time with yourself and your respective departments to revisit the mission and to honestly examine the merit of work being done and ask if it is in alignment with the mission statement. If it isn’t, maybe it is time to let it go. If it isn’t, it is definitely time to re-think and re-evaluate. If it isn’t, we have to have the courage to move. It’s okay to stall out for a day, but we don’t want to get stuck. Let the mission statement be the grounding force and guide.

By Cathy Jones Parks