Leading Self

Create a Personal Mission Statement

This activity is designed to help individuals craft their personal mission statement. While many participants will be familiar with organizational mission statements, personal mission statements offer leaders a similar sense of purpose and direction.

For more information about Creating a Personal Mission Statement, click here to read the corresponding section in the Playbook.


30-60 mins

Group Size


Skill Level


Comfort Level



Flip Chart, Markers, Print Handouts

Step 1

If participants are unfamiliar with what an actual personal mission statement looks like, have them read the “Personal Mission Statement Wizard”  included in the Playbook. Describe the purpose of the activity. Ask for show of hands of who has completed the pre-reading. Give everyone a few minutes to read the article or refresh on its content (5 minutes).

Step 2

Ask for show of hands of people who have written a personal mission statement or something like it in the past. If people in the group have experience, ask why they wrote a personal mission statement and how they did it. You might also ask them to share the statement. If no one has experience, tell the group that they will all have a first draft of their personal mission statement by the end of the session.

On a flip chart, write the following question: “What are the benefits of having a personal mission statement?” Ask participants to share ideas and write down the key ideas that emerge, capturing key phrases. Paraphrase verbally before writing down.  Once you have a list of benefits, summarize them verbally and move to the next step (10 minutes).

Step 3

Print a hard copy of the “Personal Mission Statement Worksheet” for each participant. Alternatively, put the questions on a Powerpoint slide or write them on a large white board or flip chart. Ask that each participant use the worksheet questions for 20 minutes to help them write a first draft of their personal mission statement. Remind them that they can improve the draft later and not to worry about the first draft being perfect. Observe participants as they work. When you observe that most participants have finished the task, give a verbal five-minute warning (15-20 minutes).

Step 4

Ask participants to work with a partner to share their personal mission statement and get feedback. Each person should take turns reading their mission statement to the other person.

This exercise should take no more than ten minutes. You can time it so each partner gets the same amount of time for feedback. After five minutes, tell participants that their time is up and that they need to switch roles. Let participants know when the exercise is over and have them reconvene in a full group (10 minutes).

Step 5

Tell participants that they are going to share their personal mission statement with the full group. Ask for a volunteer to go first. After that person shares their personal mission statement, give them positive encouragement and encourage the whole group to do so as well. The first person who volunteers gets to choose the next person to share their personal mission statement. Repeat this process until everyone in the group has shared their personal mission statement (10 minutes).

Step 6

Explain that writing a personal mission statement requires reflection, feedback, and revision over time. Ask them to quietly think about a trusted professional colleague who can offer additional feedback. Remind the group that refining this over the next couple of weeks will be key to ensure it resonates.