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“Mission Moments” – The Secret Ingredient to a Successful Company

Have you ever experienced a moment so powerful, that it motivated you to work harder, live better, or to be Greater?

Phil Lussier, board chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, describes these as “mission moments.” Lussier began his experience with the company as a Make-A-Wish parent. After his seriously ill child had been granted a wish, Lussier was emotionally empowered to become involved in the foundation. Since then, he has continuously stressed to other Make-A-Wish employees and volunteers the importance of remembering the company mission by experiencing moments. At every board meeting, Lussier has a wish child make a visit and share with the board members about their Make-A-Wish experience. These heartfelt moments remind everyone in the room of the true purpose for their hard work.

[tweetthis url=””]Great companies keep their employees excited about the overall goals of the organization.[/tweetthis]

Recently I was able to meet Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic—the world’s largest medical technology company. Medtronic has consistently lead the medical industry with their innovative therapies and products, however George considers the emotional connection between the employees and the Medtronic mission one of the Greatest achievements of the company.

Medtronic headquarters

Medtronic headquarters in Minneapolis, MN.

This is demonstrated annually at the company holiday party, which George considers the highlight of Medtronic’s year. During this special event, all of the Minneapolis-based employees assemble in the company’s auditorium, along with thousands of other colleagues watching via webcast, to hear the touching testimonials of six patients who have received Medtronic products. These patients recall warmly how Medtronic saved their lives. After they are finished, there is never a dry eye in the room. Through the personal stories and feelings of the patients, the Medtronic employees are able to rediscover just how important their work is—which is not about making money for themselves or the company, but making a difference in the lives of others. By seeing their impact on the patients, the employees are able to understand the Great, life-changing scope of their work—just like the Make-A-Wish Foundation does with children.

[tweetthis url=””]Great companies use contagious enthusiasm to connect with their employees.[/tweetthis]

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan meets with Make-A-Wish children in Chicago.

Too often, we can forget our mission. It’s very easy to be swept away in our schedules, commitments, or workflow (see my previous newsletter “Are We Too Busy to Think?”). However, we can remember what our mission is by experiencing moments—whether it’s a Make-A-Wish child visiting at a board meeting, or a Medtronic customer explaining to employees how their health and life have improved. If we desire to stay connected to our work in a more personal way, then we must continue to search for these moments to remind us of our purpose and the impact we have on others.

For the leaders of any thriving organization, it is always important to connect the company mission with employees. Having both in sync can humble a company and motivate the workforce to strive for even Greater success.

Have you ever experienced a mission moment? I’d love to hear your inspirational story. Leave me a comment!

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Comments (2)

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    Yvonne Ackerman


    One mission moment fell into my lap when I was asked to present a $5,000 People for People Fund check to a deserving family who had fallen on hard times. The mother had been diagnosed with cancer and the father had recently went blind. The couple had more than a dozen children; some were foster children that they had adopted. Our People for People Fund board heard about their circumstances and asked if I could deliver the check to the home of this deserving family. I no sooner get in the door when everyone in the home is crying with joy. It brought tears to my eyes and gave me a healthy respect for what we were doing with our People for People Fund. Although the $5,000 hardly made a dent in their climbing medical bills, they were able to use the funds to purchase a new wash machine and much needed household items to sustain the home with so many children. I’m a proponent of everyone in our office delivering a People for People Fund check, especially when they start to question why we spend so much money a year on community members. Thanks – Yvonne

    • Avatar

      Don Yaeger


      Yvonne: That is an incredible story! It is so important to remember who we can assist in our “mission.” Thank you for sharing!

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Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, 11-time New York Times best-selling author, leadership expert and executive coach.

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