From David Hill
“What’s your mission, soldier?”
Although about twenty five years ago, I can remember this like yesterday – because it was so cold as my small patrol was maneuvering through the swamps in Florida during US Army Ranger training. It was early March and we had just linked up with another team en route to our objective.
“We are the cut off element for the main exfil route” I answered back as we then immediately understood our function and went forth to a successful outcome. Nothing more was required nor said – as this summed it all up. Our mission and how we fit into the bigger picture.
Why do I say this?
Because a mission is a concept that grounds us. It focusses our effort. It allows for a generalization of intent so that minutia doesn’t need to be micromanaged or overthought. It creates efficiency and unity of purpose.
How do our day to day activities align with our mission – what is our focus?
Over the past three months, my team and I hit the ground running – hiring staff, focusing on preparation for city governance review and budget deliberations, but we made it a weekly exercise to spend time reflecting on our raison d’etre. It started as a brainstorming page with important words and verbs: communication, teamwork, stewardship, listening, consistency, and caring as a small sample. From that we put all of those into a word cloud in order to simply reflect and be inspired. With that we then put it together into three short sentences that sum up the heart of our office. And as such, I am proud to announce the mission statement of Ward 3 – Barrhaven West Office:
“We, the Ward 3 – Barrhaven West team, care deeply about our community. We listen attentively, communicate honestly and act decisively. We strive for excellence in resident casework and to positively influence the City of Ottawa through pragmatic, visionary legislation and engaged representation.”