Byron's Babbles

Opportunities, Competence, & Commitment

Posted in Educational Leadership, Leadership, Learning Organization, Strategic Planning by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on June 7, 2015

visualMissionStatement“Now, what does this mean for you?” ~ Julius Rosenberg of Sears in 1917

Rosenberg asked each of his store managers this question in order to integrate their efforts into the overall mission of Sears. The mission statement for Sears at the time was: “Your job is not selling, it is buying.” Rosenberg believed that his sales managers needed to be making sure that Sears was putting the right products on the shelves, not just being good salesmen (Maciariello, 2014). This mission statement helped those at Sears to “do the right thing.” In other words all of the employees at Sears were able to see the whole of the organization’s mission as one’s personal mission. This also helps all of those in the organization to “do things right” (Maciariello, 2014). This is a very important part of the whole mission statement, vision, and strategic planning process – all in the organization must fully understand his or her role in carrying our the plans and doing the right things. It is also important all parts of the mission statement fit reality.

A well written mission statement, according to Peter Drucker (Maciariello, 2014), can be used to effectively allocate the time, talents, and resources of all the people in an organization. One of the things I picked up from this week’s lesson from Drucker is: “It [mission statement] can be used as a recruiting, appraisal, and retention tool to ensure that those in an organization are focused on doing the right thing (Maciariello, 2014, p. 177)”. We need to spend more time talking and asking questions like Rosenberg’s. In fact, I am going to start asking that question after presenting our mission statement: “Now, what does that mean for you.” I am very excited to have learned this today!year-with-peter-drucker

When there is a well-produced mission statement, decisions can be guided toward doing the right thing and consensus. In order for this to work constructive dissent must be encouraged to prevent organizational obsolescence (Maciariello, 2014). Drucker said, “If you can bring dissent and disagreement to a common understanding of what the decision is all about, you create unity in action, and in all things trust. And trust requires that dissent come out in the open, and that it be seen as disagreement (Maciariello, 2014, p. 181)”. We must focus on what is right, not who is right.

Does your mission statement accurately your organization’s competence and commitment?


Maciariello, J. A. (2014). A year with Peter Drucker: 52 weeks of coaching for leadership effectiveness. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.


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