Are you a mission magnet? I think it’s possible that I am. Although, if I’m really honest, it’s not a question I had ever asked myself or, indeed, anyone else until a few years ago. And then a sequence of events started me thinking...
Mission on my Mind
I’ve had the word mission on my mind for a few years now. It started back in 2018 when I co-hosted a virtual conference, On The Tipping Point LIVE!, with my then podcast partner, Sherry Bevan. During that fortnight, Sherry and I kept hearing that word in our conversations with our various guests, as we discussed what had been their ‘tipping points’ on their path to business success. Whilst our discussions were largely about personal, lived, experience in the business context, it soon became clear there was something deeper than ‘just business’ for many of the women we interviewed.
During and after the conference, the word mission continued to play on my mind and, in typical Agent Q fashion, I got curious about why it felt important. One Sunday morning I posted a simple question on my social media profiles to see what response it received. I should perhaps just mention that it wasn’t any old Sunday morning, it was the Sunday before Christmas – so you might have thought, like me, that the post would fade into obscurity while everyone was carried away in the festive melee. Some seven hours later, I went back to my post to find almost 100 replies.
My question? “Who comes to mind when you think of Women on a Mission and Why?”
There were some incredible responses.
Women leading change around the world to make their world a better place. Whilst not all the responses came from women, it was truly beautiful to see story after story of women inspiring other women.
And I wanted to find out more!
So I created a new online community on Facebook – simply and aptly named, Women on a Mission. If you have read my previous musings on magic and mission, you’ll know that I have been working with ambitious professionals who are on their own personal or professional mission for years, helping them to accelerate their performance and progress, to increase their impact and to maximise their results in whatever they are setting out to achieve.
There was never a strategic development plan for the group. It’s a journey, not a destination. I wanted to create a safe space for women to explore mission….. to share experiences and learnings and to support each other.
And so the journey began. And I chose to start it with the simplest of questions.
What is a mission?
The very first response to my Facebook post that Sunday morning, was a friend describing his wife when she was tidying up! And I get that….. someone on a mission does conjure up an image of getting stuff done, doesn’t it!
So what words would you associate with getting stuff done? I think that mission implies pace, passion and purpose. The part of me that is less wedded to alliteration threw in application, and determination. Other key words I came up with included service, calling and response.
How would you describe a mission?
Perhaps the most common description is that mission is what drives us to achieve our purpose. So, if you’ve ever thought they were one and the same, maybe there’s a clue there that we should think again. And then there’s our old friend, vision. Where does that fit in (she asked, rhetorically, as though it’s a question for another post…..)?
Everyone gets to share their mission with me, as part of the sign up to the Facebook group. And that’s where the phrase, Mission Magnet, came from.
I’m a Mission Magnet, said Sarah. They find me.
I certainly identify with that! When I think of some of the complex projects I have delivered, I have definitely needed to be a woman on a mission to get them delivered on time and on budget. They have also called out to me in some way, or I wouldn’t have applied for the opportunity! And whilst I might not have seen them as ‘my mission’, as such, during the recruitment process, I soon discovered that because they were my baby to deliver, they quickly became my mission to achieve.
So yes, I think that some missions do find us. And whatever that route might be, they call us, or touch us, or connect with us in some way that inspires us to take action.
That sense of calling or connection is almost palpable in these descriptions of mission from my fabulous Women on a Mission community.
Something that’s integral to our purpose – where nothing gets in our way
A burning desire to make a difference in an area that you’re passionate about… probably an area in which you’ve struggled for many years and don’t want to ses others struggle in the same way, or an area close to yoru heart for another reason. It’s a feeling that won’t leave you alone and you are prepared to do almost anything to initiate that change.
Your mission is something you can’t stop thinking about, doing, learning about, talking about and sharing!
Your mission is your calling. A pull on your soul to live your deepest desire. It is something we do for love, not out of duty or because someone tells us we must. It is our very life’s breath.
It’s the personality of the company – the statement that guides all our company decisions, whether strategic or operational. The mission helps us to focus and consider whether the decisions being made are for the good of the company therefore binding us to our core values.
My mission is my purpose/calling, worded to reflect this lifetime’s desired outcomes – I am on several intertwined missions.
Your mission is the thing that calls you from the depth of your soul. The thing you can’t not do. It’s a thing that will most likely scare you and also delight you. It moves you beyond your own perceived limitations and flaws and into full embodiment of the person you came here to be.. It’s a call to arms from your inner flame – born from a deep desire to serve. It’s love made manifest and will burn inside on your darkest days, keeping you going even when you can’t see the next step.
It occurs to me that I have hugely understated this amazing collection by describing them as definitions of mission. I should really have described them as lived experiences of mission, because for each of these individuals, I know that these truly are their experience of being a woman on a mission and making a difference in the world.
What is your experience of mission? Please leave a comment below, sharing your thoughts on mission to add to this body of experience.
And, if you’re someone who is on a mission, do join the Women on a Missioncommunity by signing up in the box - I’d love to learn more about your mission, especially if I can help you to succeed and be unstoppably you. I’d love to help.