The future of mission statements. Discover a living anthem that drives motivation and action. A Life Code is a compass that creates clarity, buy-in, and persistence so you can weather any storm on the pathway of your calling.
It's My Pleasure
This simple statement is changing the face of the food service industry. When Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-Fil-A restaurants, stayed at a Ritz Carlton hotel, he experienced world class service he would never forget. The employees who served him were so well trained, they left a mark on him that would forever impact the culture of his business. The whole experience was captured by this one phrase..."It's My Pleasure." This was the response he got whenever he thanked someone at Ritz Carlton for their service. There was something about the generosity, joy, and heart of this statement. It wasn't just a pre-programmed, "You're welcome." It was next-level service. In other words, "It's my joy and honor to serve you. In fact, YOU are the reason why I am here." Today, whenever you go to a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, guess what their response is when you say thanks? It's my pleasure is now deeply embedded into the Code of Chick-Fil-A.
A Code is a living anthem that drives motivation and action.
The Marines are driven by a Code which empowers them to embody honor, courage, commitment, integrity, and respect. LifeChurch Canton is consumed by a Code that motivates the vision, ministries, decisions, and development of the church. More than rules or guidelines, a Code lives in the soul of anyone who adheres to it.
Not limited to a branch in the military, a church, or a business, a Code also drives the DNA of individuals. Ever catch yourself saying something over and over? A life mantra you live by? A Scripture verse that defines your life? A statement that keeps you centered? Maybe it's something you say or think so often, you don't even realize you are repeating it. It's like second-nature to you. Something like...
Progress over perfection. Restore the broken. Fail forward. Live in the moment. Never give up. Set the captives free.
These statements are the Life Code we live by. They inspire and motivate us to continue in the direction we want to go. One of my Life Codes is Celebrate Progress. As a recovering perfectionist, these two words speak directly to the critic inside me. This Inner Critic won't settle for anything less than perfection which creates unattainable standards and crushing pressure to live under. The whole scenario freezes me in analysis paralysis and self-doubt. In fact, the Inner Critic yelled at me while I was writing this blog post, "You have nothing new to say. That's cheesy. No one is going to read this. You repeated yourself. You should have said that better." See what I mean? Celebrate Progress muzzles the Inner Critic. It reminds me to celebrate steps of growth because I get more of what I celebrate. It releases the pressure of perfectionism and relaxes me so I can celebrate the gifts of imperfection.
Your Life Code is a compass on the pathway of your calling.
Your calling defines the pathway of your life (more on that in a future blog post) and your Life Code keeps you on it. Without a Code, we get easily distracted and wander off the path. We say yes or no too often. We chase after money or fame without purpose. In fact, Scripture says without vision, divine guidance, or revelation (aka a Code), people run wild (Proverbs 29:18). A Life Code is a compass God gives us through His Word and divine revelation to guide us through the twists and turns of life. How does Scripture resonate with you and inspire you to action? What has God spoken to you personally that has helped you walk with Him?
Whether they drive an organization or an individual, Codes have power because they create clarity, buy-in, and persistence.
Codes are clear and concise because clarity eliminates confusion. Unlike wordy mission statements, Codes trim the weight of flowery speech and unnecessary descriptors. They just say it like it is in a few words so they can be memorized and lived out. One of the reasons mission statements can be ineffective is because they are too vague, grandiose, or broad. Codes create clarity.
When you buy into something, it lives in you. You commit to it and strive for it's success because you have skin in the game. Codes we buy into resonate with us and communicate deep values we are willing to sacrifice for. In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of a shepherd who has 100 sheep and loses one. He leaves the 99 to rescue the one lost sheep. This story inspired one of LifeChurch Canton's Codes: Relentless Pursuit of One More. We will never stop pursuing those who are disconnected from God. This passion runs deep in the heart of the church inspiring engagement in outreach, care, and discipleship. Codes create buy-in.
What values are you willing to sacrifice for?
A Code is driven by persistent action. If a Code is not actionable, it's just a good quote on the wall. It must spark motivation and create change. A Code is persistent purpose in action that is repeated over and over again. Persistence is defined as, "Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." When you stay true to your Code, it builds resilience to weather any storm. In fact, a Code grows stronger within you with each storm you face. It grows roots and digs deeper into your identity to anchor you in truth. Codes create persistence.
What's your Life Code?
Here are some helpful reminders to help you build your Life Code:
A Code is a living anthem that drives motivation and action. It is a concise statement you find yourself repeating to keep you on course.
It must create clarity (only a few words or a phrase), buy-in (you are willing to sacrifice for it), and persistence (it only gets stronger through the storms of life).
A Code is anchored in God's Word and confirmed by divine revelation so it can be a compass on the pathway of your calling.
It has quick recall - you should be able to memorize it and have no more than 5-10 statements in your Life Code.