This first part of personal strategic planning is called “values clarification.” You ask yourself, “What values and virtues do I most admire and wish to practice in my life?” If you wanted to discover your strengths in the work world, first you would define your values as they apply to employment. The values that companies settle upon would be similar to the values that you organize your work life around. Often, both companies and individuals will choose values such as integrity, quality, respect for others, service, profitability, innovation, entrepreneurship, market leadership, and so on. For example, General Electric, as one of its values, is determined to be either first or second in quality and market share with any product that it offers. If it cannot achieve a first- or second-place position, it will make every effort to grow into it, or it will leave the market entirely.
In a similar vein, you could use those values to define your position with regard to your work. You could decide to plan your work life around the values of quality, excellence, service, profitability, and innovation. There are dozens of values that you can pick from, but whichever you choose, and the order of priority you place on your choices, will determine your approach to your work.
Your next step is to create your personal mission statement. This is a clear, written description of the person you intend to be in your work life. I have often found that this is even more important than setting specific financial or business or sales goals, Once you have decide you need to write out a mission statement that describes the kind of person you intend to become in order to earn that amount of money. For example, you might say, “I’m an outstanding salesperson, well- organized, hardworking, thoroughly prepared, positive, enthusiastic, and intensely focused on serving my customers better than anyone else can.” With this as your mission statement, you have a series of organizing principles that you can use to guide your career choices, your personal- and professional-development activities, and your work schedule for each day. This mission statement also tells you the kind of person that you’re going to be in your interactions with the people whose satisfaction will determine your career success. A clear mission statement also is a definition of the areas in which you intend to become stronger in order to achieve your goals.

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