Process or Mission? Be Like Nick Saban

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Nick Saban is famous for his championship football programs. He won a national title at LSU and four national titles at Alabama. This is unprecedented in the modern era of college football where 129 teams vie for the attention of the nation’s top high school recruits.

He isn’t just a recruiter. Nick Saban attributes his success to “The Process”, or breaking a monumental task (like winning a national championship) into small, manageable pieces.

The Process

Here is what Saban tells his coaches and players: “Don’t think about winning the SEC Championship. Don’t think about the national championship. Think about what you need to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment. That’s the process: Let’s think about what we can do today, the task at hand.” (Business Insider)

So, does Nick Saban have a mission statement? If you dig around the web, you won’t find a “set-in-stone” mission statement from Saban. That’s because, if you are playing the game of football, winning every game is the goal. Making a goal statement to “win” would be like setting a daily goal of “breathing air”.

Saban knows what it takes to win at a high level. He breaks the process down to giving maximum effort during every play, every sprint, and every weight lifted. He carries this further by using the same tenacity on the recruiting circuit.

Do you need a mission statement?

Yes. If you are in business or trying to achieve anything great, you need a clear direction of where you are going. Unlike football, where your goal is winning, business and life can have fuzzy outcomes. If you approach your business mission with the simple mission of “win”, then that opens a realm of possibilities. A mission or goal statement crystalizes where you want to be at some point in the future.

The mission is important, but the process to get there is more important.

Here is a mission statement: “I earn $7,000,000 per year through copywriting and public speaking.” Alright. The mission statement is complete. Let’s set back and wait for the money to roll in. Is that how it works? Negative.

Mission + Purpose + Process = Success

A mission without a strong purpose is useless. Take the above mission statement with the hefty sum of cash. What if the purpose was: “So I can buy 4 Lamborghinis.” Is that a strong purpose? I guess it is if you are a car lover. But, it is very materialistic and will make the money disappear rapidly.

Here is a purpose: “So my family can have freedom and to impact other’s lives in a major way.” Is that a strong purpose? I say it is. Freedom from corporations, debt, and the middle-class lie are huge purposes. Can you impact other’s lives in a major way with $7,000,000 per year? You bet you can.

Make the purpose huge and the process will come naturally

Big goals require you to do something daily to move you toward them. What if your goal is to bench press 500 pounds? If I write the goal down every day and wish for it, I will get there eventually, right? Wrong. If you establish a process, such as changing your diet, hiring a weight training coach, and lifting five times per week, will you get there then? You increase your odds.

Mission statements are important but processes achieve missions

Like Nick Saban, don’t let the mission consume you. Consume yourself with the process of goal attainment.

Robert Kiyosaki says, “Invest in systems, not products.” Products and services are great, but the system (process) behind the product creates sales.

Develop a process for goal accomplishment. The goal remains static while the process is fluid. Be flexible in your process to achieve your mission. If you find a weak spot in the process, change the process. To use a cliché, “push the ball forward daily.”

This means you should do something now to move you toward your goal. Does that mean continue with a broken process? Don’t be afraid to change how you get there.

“Do something to move yourself toward your major goal every day.” -Brian Tracy

The question posed in this post is: Which is more important? Mission or processes? Both are equally important. You can’t have a process without a mission. You can’t achieve a mission without a process.

I leave you with this: “What happened yesterday is history. What happens tomorrow is a mystery. What we do today makes a difference.” -Nick Saban

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