Creating structure

A series on management basics and more


Three factors make life and work easier: structure, flexibility and boundaries.

• Structure gives us a framework within which to think, process and achieve our desired end results.

• Flexibility makes change more palatable and reduces conflict and stress.

• Boundaries establish limits for yes and no, stop, go and slow down.

Mission, vision, values, goals and deadlines help create structure. With all that is happening in our lives, workplace and around the world, it is easy to lose centeredness, which gives us direction, meaning and purpose. Every day, it helps to have reference points and guidelines to establish internal and external alignment with what really matters.

Ponder these intentions to create structure, flexibility and boundaries in life and work:

Establish a mission, which can be an assignment, calling, ambition or aim. A mission is not just a task because it is something important and it is strongly felt. Does your family, workplace or do you have a clear, defined and stated mission? A specific mission gives focus to everything we do with our time, energy, knowledge and skills.

The mission of my work with clients is to support each client to identify, clarify and become fluent in four areas: What is going on in their life and/or work? What are their core values? What they want to create in their life and/or work, plus how they can achieve their desired end results.

What is your mission in your life, family or work?

Vision is a view, image, idea or dream of how you intend to achieve your mission. Vision can be imagining a lifestyle/work style to be created, lived and enjoyed.

Values are the core of our being and the path and patterns of how we live our life. Our values are the roots of and connections to everything we think, say and do. They are what we like, love and enjoy about being alive and the things that really matter to us. What are your core values and which one value do you prize the most?

Goals are specifically stated "somethings" to be created. I have heard a goal defined as a dream with a deadline. That works, too. A goal can also be as simple as a specific want or need, and it can be more hearty, such as an aspiration or dynamic urge. It is a desired end result. In most cases, our mission, vision and values will be exactly aligned with our goals. How amazing and beautiful is that?

Deadlines, milestones and time markers are the designators indicating we are serious about a goal we have stated. The truth test is creating and accomplishing our mission, vision or goal on or before the deadline. What if we changed the word deadline to lifeline?

Structure, flexibility and boundaries can help us survive these challenging times. We are either in an advancing or oscillating (continuously back and forth) structure. Which is it for you? May our flexibility include compassion, tolerance and down time. The boundaries of no, stop and slow down are the best.

Comments, questions and suggested topics are welcome. Call (575) 770-4712 or email