#16: Mission & Vision
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Welcome to the Coach's Blog powered by Dillman Coaching. I've been racing for over a decade and currently focus on cyclocross, gravel and mountain bike racing on the SDG-Muscle Monster team. I've learned a lot over the years and this is where I get to share some of that knowledge with you.
I have been diving deeper into my studies on nutrition and started a series of blogs to summarize Matt Fitzgerald's book Racing Weight. I introduced this idea of Racing Weight in Blog #12. Fitzgerald has created a 6-step plan for endurance athletes:
Improve your diet quality. (Blog #13)
Manage your appetite. (Blog #14)
Balance your energy sources. (Post #15)
Time your nutrition.
However, we're going to take a quick break from this Racing Weight series and talk about another topic that's been heavy on my heart lately: productivity. You're probably wondering why in the world I'd want to talk about something like productivity on a training blog, but trust me it has good application for training and racing. Read on if you don't believe me.
In this blog, I'll tackle the foundation behind productivity: mission & vision. I originally planned to write one blog on productivity as a whole, but as I got into it I realized that mission & vision deserve to have its own stand-alone blog. So here it is.
"Managing ourselves well is foundational to all we do." - Matt Perman
What is Productivity
Merriam Webster defines productivity as "the quality or state of being productive." Well, that's not very helpful. Don't they know you can't use the word you're defining in the definition?They also define productive as "having the quality or power of producing; effective in bringing out; yielding results, benefits or profits." Now, that's a lot more helpful. Read that definition with your cycling goals and training in mind.
Doesn't that sound pretty spot on? When we train as cyclists, we want to be productive. We want to produce results, benefits and profits. That's the whole goal of training! The quest for race results.
I was recently advised to read the book What's Best Next by Matt Perman which is a book all about gospel-driven productivity. Basically a Christian perspective on productivity. Perman opens the book by saying "I want to help you live the life that God has called you to live and to live it with maximum effectiveness and meaning." While I understand that not every reader is a Christian, I do believe this book is helpful for anyone seeking to be more productive. So I'll be drawing a lot of my information from this book.
Effectiveness VS Efficiency
These two words are easy to get mixed up and confused. I mean, just look at them. They even look almost identical. But their meanings are quite different and can make a monumental difference in how we live our lives and make big decisions.
Being effective means doing the right things. Doing the things that matter. Doing what is most important. These are the things at the top of our priority list. Effectiveness focuses on what we do.
Being efficient means doing things the easiest and most productive way. This is how we carry out things. This is the method with which we carry out our goals and tasks. Efficiency focuses on how we do things.
So how do these things work together? Think of it this way. Being effective is a focus on the actual goal itself. Being efficient is a focus on the means to that goal. Both are quite important, but effectiveness holds far more importance than efficiency. We may be very efficient at what we do. We might get a lot of work done and accomplish our goals. But what if those goals weren't even the ones we really cared about? Perman writes, "If we aren't heading in the right direction we may accomplish our goals only to find out that we were going down the wrong road the whole time."
So while efficiency and effectiveness work together in many ways, we must tackle the topic of effectiveness before we get to efficiency. We want to know where our final destination lies before we map out the fastest way to get there.
"Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." -Tim Kizziar
Mission & Vision
So how do we be effective? By clearly defining our mission and vision. We see and hear about mission statements all the time. Every company in the world has a mission statement that defines them and their goals. This is their purpose for being a business. We also need to have mission statements for our lives. What is your reason for existence?
That's a big question! Probably the biggest question a person could ever ask themselves. This is where people can get really bogged down, confused and maybe even a little depressed. The answer to this question will fuel all other motivation and action in our lives. And this is where my faith really comes into play. For me, my personal mission statement is, "To do all things enthusiastically, whole-hearted and with zeal for the glory of God and good of others." This is what fuels my racing, coaching, family-life, goals and everyday actions.
NOTE: If you're not sure what your mission statement might be, I encourage you to keep doing what you enjoy and are good at and let that guide your path.
While our mission is the intangible, almost imaginary, purpose for our life, our vision is the tangible, real-life action that we choose to accomplish our mission. You could also think of vision in terms of a life goal. This is that big, scary goal you want to spend your entire life striving to accomplish.
Perman defines it like this, "Your life goal is the concrete what. It is the chief way that you seek to fulfill your mission. An objective that is so big that it governs everything else you do and will likely take your entire life." For example, William Wilberforce's vision or life goal was to abolish the slave trade. Did he fulfill that life vision? No. But Wilberforce's mission in life was to love God and love people. Did he fulfill his mission? Yes. And he did so by his motivation to end the slave trade.
So figure out what your mission and vision is and write them down. Keep them somewhere you can regularly review and let it be a reminder of why you do what you do.
"Knowing where we are headed gives us the confidence and direction to live as we ought to live." -Matt Perman
Mission & Vision of Dillman Coaching
These are the big life questions that everyone has to face at one time or another. And having them clearly defined can be a huge step in the right direction.
This may seem like a weird thing to do, but I often think about when I'm on my death bed and what I'll be feeling and thinking. Will I have wasted my life? What would I have done differently? Did I live life to the fullest? Did I love people well? Doing this exercise helps me to keep things in perspective. Usually the answers to these questions are the things we should be focusing our lives around right now.
Knowing how you want your life to matter and having a clear mission and vision will propel you into action no matter where you are in life. Knowing where you want to go and how you want to get there is the first step to the journey that awaits.
In the next blog I'll talk about a few of the systems or methods you can use to be a more effective, efficient, productive individual and therefore cyclist.
As always, message me with any comments or questions regarding this blog or ideas for future blogs you'd like to see me publish.