Scrolling through Pinterest the other day, I decided The Watts needed a family mission statement. This sent me down a rabbit hole of blogs and images of other family statements. I ended up following a simplified version of The Art of Simple’s Create a Family Purpose Statement. I liked her process and the questions included to get you thinking. It seemed a bit formal for us though, so I tweaked it a tad.
Coming up with ideas is not my strong suit but give me a template and I’m good to go. My need for a template had me completing the Mission Statement Builder by Stephen Covey first. It asks you a bunch of questions – you fill in your responses and it spits out a family mission statement. Perfect! Except, their statement was boring and didn’t feel like ‘The Watts”.
Family meeting were recommended to get ideas from everyone, so at dinner that other night I asked the boys what they thought our family mission statement should include. Their contributions ranged from ‘don’t be a jerk’ (like the concept, but not really appropriate), to ‘just do it my way’ (not at all what I was going for). I took what was salvageable and tried filling it into some of the templates I found. Those were boring too.
I didn’t want to sound like a corporation. I wanted easy to remember buzz words that we could remember when values were called into question and decisions needed to be made. Whether the decisions dealt with behavior toward family members or peer pressure, our family mission statement needed to be accessible and real.
My two main buzz words were “Kindness” and Humor” so I searched quotes relating to those attributes, with some leadership thrown in. These were some of my favorites:
There were also quotes like “If you can’t be kind, be quiet” and “Kill them with kindness”. So I took the ideas from these smart folks, tweaked a quote on Leadership from Jim Rohn, played with PicMonkey for too long, and ended up with this:
For my literal-minded boys, being specific about the virtues and values we expect was a must. If we just said ‘be bold’ they would take that as license to bulldoze their way though life. “Be humorous” would make being the class clown (which we already struggle with) a goal. By contrasting the wanted with the not wanted – there is less room for debate. The boys know what being a Watts is all about, what is expected and celebrated.
So, if you witness the boys behaving in a way that contradicts The Watts Way, feel free to remind them. 🙂