Many years ago we sat down as a family and asked, “What is our mission? What are we going to be known for?” Corporations had missions, schools had missions, churches had missions—it seemed to me everyone had a mission, but I didn’t see families with a mission. So we set out to determine the mission of the J Calaway Family. Here is the process we followed:
1. Ask questions
We asked and answered these questions:
- What do we want people to think when they hear the name Calaway?
- What do we want to be known for?
- What is the most important thing?
- What do we like about each other?
- What is acceptable behavior in our family?
2. Compile answers
Once each of us answered these questions we compiled them together to create a matrix of sorts. This gave us our foundation of what we valued as a family and how we were going to conduct ourselves with each other and within the community.
3. Accept the mission
Once we established what was important to us as a family, we came back together and accepted the mission. We agreed that each of us would hold to the attitudes, behaviors, standards, and values of the family. We became accountable to each other when we did not follow the mission.
4. Re-Visit the Mission
As our children grew it was important to periodically revisit the mission and adjust it to fit the ever-expanding needs of our family. My wife and I guided the process and established the values together early on. Yet, when our children grew older we involved them in the process. For example, when my kids were young we had a standard of what kind of music, movies, and TV shows were allowed in our home and lives. As my kids got older we adjusted the mission to allow for them to choose what they would listen to within reason. This gave them the ability to choose, and taught them the value of making good decisions. We included relationship codes as they started to date.
Each time we revisited the mission the basic foundational principles remained the same. What we valued in the early years of our family are still the same values we have as my son raises his kids and my daughters find the man for their lives.
The beauty of having a family mission is that we lived together by a set of values or principles and not simply rules. The family mission helped guide us through the different stages of our family, and now the same is happening for our grandkids.
Question: What does your family mission look like?