I did a recent net search (for photos) with the word “fulfillment” and was led to 800,000 items. Cool…but as I look at the images, they were not at all what I would have expected. On closer review I discovered that my word “fulfillment” had been auto-magically translated to “success”. Hmmm…now that made me wonder: are they really automatically the same, and do we view them, qualify them and strive for them in the same way?

Mission is “what we do”, Values are “how we do it”, and Vision is “what it looks like when we are done”. Vision therefore is a projection of the fulfillment of our mission; personally and organizationally.

Success should be arrival at the fulfillment of our personal and/or organizational mission, through adherence to our values. Overall, the whole matter of success is simple when it is defined this way.

Then why are so many people in so many of our organizations unfulfilled?

The formula is simple, but there are many forces opposing fulfillment, not the least of which of is our own fear or desire. Mission and values require articulation so that our actions (leading to eventual outcomes) can be calibrated; adjusted.

I have found that many organizations have mission statements, but that most employees within the organizations do not know the statement, and do not have the clarity as to how their role impacts the mission, therefore low courage, innovation and commitment.

I have also found that most organizations do not have articulated values, and most of the few who do use them more as marketing sentiment than actual decision-making filters.

How can we optimally work towards “success” (the fulfillment of our personal and/or organizational mission, through adherence to our values) if we have not taken the time to articulate and calibrate?

This is often disaster for many organizations, but worse yet (given the incredible value of a human life) it should be unthinkable that we do not reflect, define and articulate personal mission, vision and values as well.

I confess that this is becoming a consuming passion for me: that organizations (and the individuals who make up the collective corporate) would come to know deep and satisfying fulfillment.