The Wheel of Personal Success:

Beliefs and Values

The Importance of Values and Mission

The Key Part of Personal and Corporate Strategic Planning

By Brian Tracy.  Used by permission.

When my company does strategic planning for corporations, we begin with the premise that the whole purpose of the exercise is to reorganize and reallocate people and resources to increase the rate of return on equity, or capital invested in the business. Invariably, this is done by emphasizing some areas and de-emphasizing others, by allocating more resources to areas with higher potential return and by taking away resources from those areas that represent lower potential return.

By developing or promoting newer and better products and services and by discontinuing those products and services that are less profitable, the company and all the people in it can channel their resources to maximize their returns.

Increase Your Return On Energy

In doing personal strategic planning, the first thing you want to think about is increasing your personal “return on energy,” rather than return on equity. You need to realize that the most essential and valuable thing that you have to bring to your work and to your life are your abilities to think, act, and get results. Your earning ability – which is a function of your education, knowledge, experience, and talents – is your human capital, or your equity. And the way you use it will largely determine the quality and quantity of your rewards, material and psychological, tangible and intangible.

Define Your Values

The first step in personal strategic planning is called “values clarification.” You ask yourself, “What values and virtues do I most admire and wish to incorporate in to my life?” If you wanted to discover your strengths in the work world, first you would define your values as they apply to employment. Often, both companies and individuals will choose values such as integrity, quality, respect for others, service, profitability, innovation, entrepreneurship, and market leadership.

Prioritize Your Values

In a similar vein, you could use those values to define your position with regard to your work. You could decide to plan your work life around the values of quality, excellence, service profitability, and innovation. There are dozens of values that you can pick from, but whichever you choose, and the order of priority you place on your choices, will determine your approach to your work.

Create a Mission Statement

Your next step in personal strategic planning is to create your personal mission statement. This is a clear, written description of the person you intend to be in your work life. I have found that this is often even more important than setting specific financial or business goals. Once you have decided how much you want to earn, you need to write out a mission statement that describes the kind of person you intend to become in order to earn that amount of money.

With a clear mission statement, you have a series of organizing principles that you can use to guide your career choices, your personal and professional development activities, and your work schedule for each day.

This mission statement tells you the kind of person you’re going to be in your interactions with the people whose satisfaction will determine your career success. A clear mission statement is also a definition of the areas in which you intend to become stronger in order to achieve your goals.

The clearer you are about what you value and believe in, and what you stand for, the happier and more effective you will be.

Action Exercises

Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

  1. Resolve today to organize your life and work so that you are getting the very greatest results and rewards possible from the investment of your time and effort.

  2. Write down a list of the values you consider most important and organize them by priority. Use these values to guide your life and work.

  3. Write out your personal mission statement, a description of the ideal person you would like to be in the future, based on your values.

Then, act every day the very best way you know how. You will feel great about yourself.