All companies are out to achieve success. Success can be defined in many different ways, but in most cases companies define success by their results. Many companies have mission statements, common dreams – or goals – that they use to motivate their workforce or to define their purpose. These statements are also often used to define success. Mission statements can be a valuable tool to help keep everyone within the company focused on the goal or purpose of a company. They can be the common purpose that everyone shares that will be the steadying reminder of the desired end result. However, are these mission statements or definitions of success really a common dream? What’s more, is there really even such a thing as a common dream?
Developing a Common Dream Together
I asked Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue and the Founder of Peterson Partners, his take on common dreams. Joel has spent many hours speaking and writing about trust and integrity, including authoring the book “The 10 Laws of Trust.” Joel started by telling me that people have a hard time trusting something or someone if they don’t know what the goal is. “A lot of companies will actually create these mission statements…that are kind of interchangeable.” These kinds of statements aren’t really a common dream at all, according to Joel. In reality they just sound good. “People want to frame them and put them up on a wall.” However, “if you develop a common dream together that inspires people – which gets back to the idea that people want to be a respected member of a winning team doing something meaningful – you can develop a mission around that and you’ll have people that you can’t stop.”
Helping Others Achieve Their Dreams
I also asked Joel the difference between a common vision and a common dream? I pointed out that a common dream really gives a better visual of trying to make something happen that does not currently exist. Joel said that the mission at Peterson Partners is to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Entrepreneurs have big dreams and they want to change the world. They want to do something that no one else has done before so they think very big. Therefore, “we view our role as capital providers as people who provide help to them, to help them achieve their dreams; and that becomes our dream.”
Coming Together for a Common Purpose
A common dream is not a mission statement or a company mantra placed on bulletin boards throughout an office building. A common dream is created when people or companies come together with a vision and a common goal and then work together to achieve that mission or goal. Having a true common dream can go a long ways in helping all parties involved achieve the mission, or results, they are seeking. That can be a powerful driving force on the path to the success.