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What I Learned About Business from Being in a Band, Part 2

 

When working with clients to help them organise their businesses, there are several things we start with.

 

One of these is a personal mission statement, and the other is a mission, vision and values statement for the business.

 

The personal vision statement focuses, of course, on our personal life. What do we want to be doing on a daily basis, what income will we be reasonably satisfied with, what will this allow us to do, where do we want to live, how often do we wish to take holidays, what are our hopes for our family?

 

It’s very easy to state things you like and want to do, but perhaps even easier to state those you don’t. Bringing it all together is then the challenge.

 

Without knowing this, this is what we did when we formed bands. Our personal mission statement went something like this:

 

I do not ever want a job. I want to be a rock star.

 

Easy.

 

Sometimes writing the company mission, vision and values can take a lot of time and much hand-wringing. How do we want to effect change in the world for the better, how will we do it, and which values will we hold ourselves to when trying? What stops us being distracted from our larger aim?

 

Lots of the bands I was in had a logo and a slogan, and I was always very keen on image and stage clothes, but none ever had an official mission, vision and values statement.

 

If we had, for the first band I gigged with, back in 1984, it may have run something like this:

 

We aim to break through the negativity and mediocrity around us,

Through self-motivation, positivity and creativity and,

As a result, we will all be free of our shackles.

 

Or perhaps not.

 

We were young, sixteen and seventeen, idealistic and, though optimistic, felt trapped by school and horrified by the thought both of work and long-term unemployment.

 

We lived in troubled political and economic times. Inflation and unemployment in the U.K. were at post-war highs; there were riots on picket lines at coal mines. I persuaded a teacher at school she shouldn’t give us work to do while she was on strike as it would negate her point.

 

But form we did, around our shared values, and our teenage political angst shone through later in our lyrics.

 

But I digress. First, we had to get organised. More on that next time.

 

 

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