Here are four questions to answer when considering your business mission.
- What is my business mission? (What are your long-term goals? How do you want to change the world?)
- Where is my organization going? Am I achieving my mission? (Are you making plans and adjustments to achieve it more effectively?)
- What environment is my organization operating in? (What social, economic, technological trends can affect your progress toward your goal?)
- What are my core competencies? (What do I like to do? What do I do better than my competitors? Is my business mission compatible with my values and aptitudes?)
Although everyone in business will have to do some things at first that they don’t have core competencies in, it’s especially important that your mission be in line with your values. (As your business grows, you can delegate parts of the business that you don’t have an aptitude for, like bookkeeping.)
Always ask yourself, when you have an idea, or someone makes a suggestion, for a direction to take your business in, “Does this align with my mission?” For example, some people have suggested that BNI offer training on how to close a sale. That’s valuable training, but BNI’s mission is not sales training but networking and referrals. There are other organizations whose mission is sales training.
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Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 370 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan, how are you and where are you?
Hi Priscilla. I am doing great. I am working this week from my Big Bear office, trying to get some writing projects done. I am just going to punch out this podcast with you.
I bet it is beautiful up there.
It is absolutely beautiful. It’s my retreat. When people say what is your favorite place to travel to, I tell them Big Bear. It absolutely is where I love to spend time.
Yeah. Okay. Well, tell us what this is about, this podcast.
You know, when I was a management consultant, I talked with companies a lot about their corporate mission, their business mission. And I want to talk about it on this podcast because I think it is very important for BNI members to have a good understanding of what their mission is as a business. That is was I want to talk about.
There are several questions, four questions, that I would like you to think about if you are listening to this podcast. Write them down or read them on the podcast transcript and answer these questions because I believe that you will represent your business more effectively in BNI if you understand the answers to these questions.
Here is the first one: What is my business mission. Let me explain. Beyond simply making a living, what are your long range professional goals? Do you wish to become the standard by which your competitors are judged? Is it your dream to make the world a better place? What is it? What is your mission? It has to be sort of a long term goal. It is now what you do. It’s not just what you do, but it’s where you want to go as a company. So what is your mission?
Second question: Where is my organization going? Am I achieving my mission? Now, you want to write your mission down and you want to ask yourself, am I achieving my mission? If I am not achieving it- and by the way, it is okay if you are not there, you know. Most of us- it’s a journey, not a destination. We are working on it.
But are you making plans and adjustments to achieve your mission more effectively? How can you change your processes, your procedures, your personnel- that is often the big change- to improve your chances of achieving your mission?
The third question is what environment is my organization operating in? What is the social environment? What are the economic and technological trends that can affect the way you do business and the progress that you are making toward your goal?
What environment are you working in? And depending on the business that you are in, the environment can impact what you are doing. You and I have talked a lot about recessions when they hit, and there are always opportunities, even when there is a recession. So even if things are challenging for you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be working toward successfully accomplishing your mission. But you do need to understand the social, economic and technical trends that can affect your progress toward your goals and, of course, your mission.
And the last question is what are my core competencies? What are my core competencies? What do I like to do? What is it that I do better than my competitors? Is my business mission compatible with my values and aptitudes?
Core competencies are really important and the more you understand your core competencies and your businesses’ core competencies, the more you can focus your attention on the things that you want to be doing and should be doing. I have seen too many business professionals and companies make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people.
They are starting out with the fundamentally sound goal of finding the niche that will make them successful, but they go astray by changing each time a customer or associate suggest a new product or service. The mission gets lost in the frantic scramble of business before the idea ever gets a chance to pay off.
I see that in BNI often, where people are trying to get us to change our mission as an organization. They will say things like, “ I really like BNI. It’s great. It’s a great way to get business, but it would be so much better if we could just close sales. What we really need is sales training. If we could learn how to close the referrals that we get and turn them into sales more effectively, then we would be so much better.”
Well, sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? The problem is we are not a sales training company. There are companies that do that way better than we will ever do it. That is not our mission. The mission of BNI- you can find this in Givers Gain, chapter 10. The mission of BNI is help members to increase their business through a structured and positive referral marketing program that enables them to develop long term meaningful relationships with quality business professionals. That is our mission.
Nowhere in there does it say to help people sell better. The truth is there are companies out there that are better at that than we are- the Brian Tracy organization, Tommy Hopkins. You can get much better sales training from them than you can BNI.
So we have been very myopic in terms of our core mission. Our core mission is to help people increase their business through referrals. Period. I think it is one of the reasons why we are by far the world’s largest referral organization, business networking organization, because we do focus on our mission.
So I believe if you want to be successful in business- and you have heard me say this before on the podcast- do six things a thousand times, not a thousand things six times. Know your mission and work towards it over and over and over.
Here are my last thoughts, and then I am open to any questions that you may have, Priscilla. Even if you think you know your mission, it will serve you well to pause periodically and to think about your mission and if necessary, refocus on your mission and philosophy. Get back to the core business that you are in.
Make sure that your mission hasn’t changed and your core competencies are in alignment with your mission that you have outlined.
So that is my advice for everyone today, Priscilla.
It’s interesting that you talked about core competencies because that is the second time today that that has come up. I was in another meeting, and often I think we end up doing things that we are not very good at but we need to do them because they are a part of the process of the business that you are in. But it is so interesting to think about the possibility of sending that particular task out to somebody else and trying to figure out which are those tasks that you really are not that good at.
Well, I think most people have a pretty good sense of what they are really not very good at. They certainly should have a good sense of the things they don’t like doing. I started with the things that I wasn’t good at in terms of delegating it to other people. Now, I am at a point where I am delegating the things that I am good at but don’t like. That is different.
Yeah. Right, right, right.
The first things that I delegated were the things that I didn’t particularly like and I wasn’t very good at. Those were easy. Now it is a matter of taking things that I was pretty good at in business but they just weren’t my passion or are no longer my passion. I am trying to do the things that I am most passionate about: writing, speaking to members, meeting members, doing things like this podcast, interviews- that is really my passion, so I have tried to delegate everything else.
I think that more BNI members can do that. They may be in a different place in the continuum of growth as a company, but wherever you are in that continuum of growth, delegate those things that you can so that you can focus on your personal core competencies.
I think that is such great advice, and I am going to try to absorb that and use it.
You know, it’s a journey. You have to be working on it, and as you grow as an individual, as your business grows, things change. It’s not static. It has certainly changed for me several times. I have kind of reinvented myself for the company a number of times.
That’s great, Ivan. Someday you are going to have to talk to us about how you get everything done.
Have we not done a podcast on time management?
No, not really. I would love to hear it.
I would love to do a podcast on time management. I have talked about it a number of times. You know, when people ask me how do you juggle so many things? I have come up with some stuff for time management. Okay, you got it, Priscilla. Let’s do one on time management in the near future.
Okay. Sounds perfect.
Alright. Thank you, Priscilla.
Alright. You are so welcome. Well, I think that’s it for this week. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by the NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.