In life and at work, I’ve learned that working on my self-awareness has paid bigger dividends than building my knowledge or skills, or just about anything else I’ve done. And while I’ve still got a long way to go, one area where I’ve made great strides is in understanding my purpose, or mission, on this Earth. It’s the “why” that impels me to get out of bed everyday to work and play, and do all the things I do. I’ve learned that articulating my mission and sharing it with others helps building connection and understanding and trust with the people around me. It’s also a little scary, because mission involves taking a little risk and sharing vulnerability, because what if I don’t make it? What if I don’t live up to my mission. I think all people can recognize that self-doubt, and sharing it helps make me more human and more relatable. We’ve also found that clients, as they approach and move into retirement, are happier in the transition if they have an identity and a mission outside their identity as a professional that they’re excited to live in the next phase of their life. Those that don’t are more likely to struggle and wonder how to fill the days. In my case, my mission is to create safe intimacy in my relationships. I remind myself to look for ways to live that mission at home with my wife and with my kids, at work with co-workers, and with clients. When I am careful to create safe intimacy, my life is fuller and happier. If I’m less purposeful or in a hurry, I have more friction in my relationships.
At Genovese Burford & Brothers, we have also taken the time to articulate our mission. We do it for two reasons. The first, and primary reason, is to provide a touchstone for our staff and future hires about why we work here. We want every member of GBB to identify and respond to our core purpose. If a potential hire doesn’t resonate with the mission, they probably won’t be a great fit in our firm. We believe that if we hire only people who really care about living out our mission, our care for our clients and our teammates will be the best it can be, and that will make our firm a healthy and attractive place for clients and co-workers alike. We don’t always get it right, but we work hard in the hiring process and in our annual performance reviews to lead with our values and include only the best fit teammates in GBB.
To that end, we recently restated our mission. Missions are evergreen and should last for generations, and we had a serviceable one, but we decided last year that it didn’t quite capture the spirit of our true core purpose. We’ve been working for years with:
“GBB’s mission is to improve people’s lives by helping them achieve their financial goals.”
We could tell it wasn’t quite resonating with our team because it didn’t get talked about much around the office. Our core values did, but our mission not so much. So a group of our partners, including our Co-Founder, Mike Genovese, did some work last fall and winter to try again. Mission and values come from the top, so it was great that Mike could be the leading voice. And we’ve come up with something really strong that captures what we’re all about. I’m happy to share with you our mission:
“GBB strives to create financial and emotional security.”
That’s really what we’re about. It’s why we’re in this industry, and why we work at GBB. It’s short, clear, and powerful. And it gives us broad scope to work with our clients and our co-workers to bring about positive change in our relationships, our business, and our community of Sacramento.
What’s your mission?