17 Dec

PFOS: Navigating Your 'Why'

The Road To Your Personal Mission Statement

Skip Avery, CCM, CCE Executive Vice President

The conversation surrounding your club’s mission and vision may be lofty, but it’s crucial nonetheless—and it happens to be one of the first topics we discuss with our private club clients. We want to get to know the culture behind that beautiful façade, the core values within, and what your club—in its entirety—represents. We ask these questions in order to pull back layers that will subsequently help us understand what your club is and what it is not, and what it strives to become in the future. And this is all done to ensure we intertwine thoughtful and appropriate details specific to your club into its design.

But today, I’m not writing this article to discuss your club’s mission statement—I’m writing it to discuss the importance of creating yours. And just as it’s important to understand your club’s mission in order to reflect those core values in each space, the same can be said for understanding your personal mission and how to best live that truth every day.

I realized the importance of this five years ago before joining the Chambers team. When I interviewed with Chambers’ President and CEO, Rick Snellinger, he asked me a question that has stayed with me ever since: ‘Who are you and what makes you tick?’ I thought about his question for a few seconds before replying, “The best way to tell you who I am is to tell you what’s most important to me; and that is my loved ones, this industry, and making a difference in the lives of both.”

I decided then that if I wanted to thrive in this industry and help others do the same, I needed to reflect those values in my actions. I needed to write down my own mantra to live by and come back to whenever I felt the stresses of life were disrupting my journey and ultimate mission. And so today, I want to share with you my own personal mission statement in hopes that it will encourage you to write one as well:

Family, Friends and Business—

Making a difference…in the lives of people I love, and the people and companies I help personally and professionally.

Having that difference appreciated…by those I love, the people and companies I work with, and myself.

Creating a better quality of life…for those I love, the people and companies I work with, and myself.

For me—my family, friends and business are everything.

The Power of a Mission Statement

As a past club manager, I personally understand that in order to do our job properly, we have to create a strategic plan for the club. This plan is a roadmap for our club as it stands today, and where we wish for it to go. Most club managers would agree that a strategic plan is everything. So why do so many of us not have one of our own? Private club leaders are servants and doers. Sometimes, however, it can be easy to neglect your own self-care amid the hustle and bustle of trying to create a better quality of life for everyone else. Don’t forget to take care of you.

Ultimately, if you’re living your most authentic life, then it will positively affect those around you, too. And the best way to do that? Sit down, dig deep, and write down what’s most important to you, who you are, who you want to be, and how you plan to get and stay there. There’s power in putting pen to paper (yes, my tech-savvy friends—paper; they say your brain slows down and focuses better when you write instead of type) and taking the time to write your core values down. This way, you can come back to that piece of paper as often as needed to remind yourself why you’re here.

I did this myself a few years ago and family, faith, respect, trust, service, and loyalty came out on top—among others, which I’ll discuss below. Constructing your own mission statement allows you to establish a roadmap for yourself, just as you do for the industry you work in. And when you show up to work every day clearheaded, attentive, confident and grounded, your members and your staff are introduced to the best version of you.

The Power of Vulnerability

This leads me to the topic of another one my own core values: vulnerability. What does it even mean to be vulnerable? The very word leaves many with a sour taste in their mouth. To be vulnerable is to express yourself unapologetically—especially in situations where the fear of doing so is almost crippling. To be vulnerable is to let people in and to let them really see you. And that’s hard. But if you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable, you deprive yourself of authenticity. Though this is often seen as a sign of weakness, vulnerability can move mountains. It’s a powerful trait—so instead use it as your biggest strength. Dr. Brené Brown does a wonderful job of explaining this phenomenon in her 2010 Ted Talk surrounding the topic of vulnerability.

There is, of course, a time and a place for everything. When you’re a leader, there are moments when you have to be steadfast and when you have to make decisions that others may not understand or agree with wholeheartedly. But when you get consumed by that notion—that you must be the very best and brightest at all times—it can leave you and your club uninspired and often fosters resentment. There is magic in those small moments when someone lights up talking about a new idea they have, or goes after something they want regardless of the rejection that may follow. Imagine how vibrant your club would be if every single person was just a little more vulnerable. If that thought peaks your curiosity, then lead by example and watch what happens.

The Power of Gratitude

Appreciation—both given and received—is transformative; which is why it’s another core value of mine. I wear a bracelet given to me by one of the members of my Mastermind Group, Three Carpenter, that has the words “Thank You” etched in the center to remind myself to remain grateful during all seasons of my life. I’ve found that the more appreciation I show to others, the more I receive in return. It’s a domino effect. And when you’re giving and receiving gratitude on a daily basis, something wonderful happens…you and those around you flourish. When you’re thankful for the small things, then every moment—big or small—feels like a victory. Living a Life of Gratitude, by Sara Wiseman, opened up my mind to the thought of this. It gave me perspective—and I highly suggest you add it to your bookshelf. Spreading gratitude is much like a welcoming hello from passerby. It’s a warm hug from a childhood friend you ran into unexpectedly. It’s the be-all-end-all.

Private Clubs are built to emulate serenity and contentment, laughter and warm conversation. They’re welcoming beacons of their respective communities. To exude these things, the people within must represent the same. As we head into the New Year, let us reflect on who we are today, and how we can positively showcase our inner selves tomorrow…for the betterment of our club and for our personal and professional self. After all, in this industry, they’re often one and the same.

Have you carved out time to create your own mission statement? Are you unsure of where to start? Let’s chat! 

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