• Adam Tarnow

My Mission

For the first time in my professional career, I have a mission statement. If you keep reading this blog, you'll get a chance to check it out.

Last week, I raved about Donald Miller's new book. This is one of the reasons I appreciated his book. It did two things. It helped me understand why a sense of mission is essential for my life. Two, it gave me the prompts I needed to craft a personal mission.

Today, I'm going to share what I crafted. This feels vulnerable, so I'm reciting "Man in the Arena" as I write this. Before I share, I need to let you in on one insight that profoundly influenced my mission statement.

Early drafts of my mission referred to "developing leadership content." The word "develop" didn't sit well with me because it felt disingenuous. It felt like I was saying, "I develop original leadership content." I don't.

When a client hires me to train their leaders, I provide three bits of originality:


  • What I mean: I get to decide how to organize and present ideas.

  • What you might hear me say: "Today, I'm going to share five ways to improve your coaching so you can build high-performing teams."


  • What I mean: I get to decide how to visualize the concepts I teach with stories, metaphors, photos, videos, or other illustrations.

  • What you might hear me say: "To set up our time today, I want to start with a quick story."


  • What I mean: I get to decide what principles to emphasize and how certain principles have impacted my life.

  • What you might hear me say: "Based on my experience, I think this is why so many leaders are struggling to engage their team."

That's it. Almost nothing else I do is original. Everything else is built on concepts and ideas given to the world by others. That clarity was beneficial for me and led me to this as my mission:

I am on a mission to curate the most helpful leadership content my clients have ever encountered.

Three keys to this mission:


  • To curate is to select, organize, and present materials.

  • Curation is what I do.

  • I select and organize content to address specific topics.

  • I add my perspectives and illustrations.

  • I package it all up and present it.


  • I desire to select and present information that is helpful to leaders.

  • If it's not immediately helpful, my clients waste their time and money.

  • I never want to waste anyone's time or money.


  • To me, the word "client" is more motivating than "the world."

  • I'm not trying to impress everyone; I'm trying to impress my clients.

  • I'm not on a mission to put a "dent in the universe," I'm on a mission to put a "dent in my client's universe."

That's what I'm trying to do. That's my mission. From there, I was able to fill out my 10-year, 5-year, and 1-year vision. Again, the first time I've ever done something like this. However, none of that would have been possible if I hadn't had clarity on my mission. Thank you, Donald Miller, for your helpful framework! If you haven't done so already, check out Hero on a Mission (not an affiliate link).

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